In a positive turn of events for the UK automotive industry, car production in Britain witnessed a substantial rise in February, soaring by 14.6 per cent to reach 79,907 units, according to the latest data released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This marks the sixth consecutive month of growth and stands as the most remarkable February performance since 2021.

The surge in production was primarily propelled by the domestic market, which experienced a staggering 58.0 per cent growth, totalling 20,658 units, showcasing a robust increase of 7,585 units. Almost all major volume manufacturers contributed to this uplift.

While domestic demand played a significant role, exports also saw a notable increase, climbing by 4.6 per cent to 59,249 units, representing a gain of 2,615 units. Impressively, a substantial 74.1 per cent of all cars manufactured in February were destined for overseas markets.

UK new car production, February 2024

The European Union emerged as the largest recipient of UK car exports, accounting for 59.9 per cent of the total, followed by the US (14.8 per cent), China (7.1 per cent), Australia (3.3 per cent), and Turkey (2.3 per cent).

Year-to-date figures for 2024 depict a robust growth trajectory, with UK car production up by 17.8 per cent to 162,904 units, marking the strongest start to a year since 2021. However, industry experts caution that the production landscape may witness variability in the coming months, particularly with major manufacturers transitioning towards the production of new electric variants and phasing out some long-standing models.

"Another month of growth for UK car production is welcome news, reflecting strong demand at home and around the world for the latest British-built cars. The industry is transitioning from internal combustion engine cars to electrified vehicles, building on the massive investment commitments made last year. The UK industry faces stiff competition, however, as global competitors seek to secure new models and technologies so a commitment to our industrial competitiveness, from all political parties in this likely election year, must be maintained," Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, commented.