UK car production grows in September

In total, car production has increased by 35 per cent in 2010 compared to the same period in 2009, with nearly one million cars built in UK plants.

Volume models such as the Vauxhall Astra, which is built at the Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire, have been complemented by increased demand for luxury British-built vehicles such as the new Jaguar XJ and Range Rover.

Last week, Jaguar Land Rover confirmed its two plants in the Midlands and the Halewood plant on Merseyside would all stay open.

Production will be boosted by the forthcoming Range Rover Evoque, while new Jaguar models are expected to be produced at the Castle Bromwich factory in the next few years.

At the Vauxhall plant, the introduction of the Astra ST will increase production and plant bosses remain confident the innovative Vauxhall Ampera extended range electric vehicle will also be built at the facility.

Elsewhere, the Ford Transit plant in Southampton boosted commercial vehicle production by 16.7 per cent in September, and Ford’s Dagenham engine facility continued to thrive with the new EcoBoost engines.

"UK vehicle production was up 6.6% in September with rises across the car, commercial vehicle and engine sectors, signalling continued improvement in the market," said SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt. "In yesterday’s spending review, government outlined some tough decisions, but also committed to a strong growth agenda."

The news continues the recovery from a low of 900,000 vehicles per year in 2009, although UK vehicle production still has some way to go before it reaches a pre-recession high of 1.7 million.

The automotive industry employs 700,000 people in the UK and has a £40 billion turnover, outlining its importance to British industry.