Land Rover success boost UK output

According to data from the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), car production in the UK rose by nearly 15 per cent in March and over 13 per cent for the first quarter.

In total, 135,052 cars were built in the UK in March, bringing the yearly total so far up to 357,230. The increase indicates manufacturers of British-built cars are leading the economic recovery in the UK.

Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. "The eighth consecutive monthly rise in car output and robust export demand indicate long-term strength and stability in the sector."

Chief among the UK-based manufacturers is Land Rover, whose new Range Rover Evoque will be launched in the UK later in the year.

The Evoque, the least expensive Range Rover ever built at just £30,000, will be built at the Halewood factory on Merseyside, which already builds the most popular UK Land Rover, the Freelander.

The decision to build the Evoque in Liverpool has created 1,500 jobs at the plant and provided a boost to the UK manufacturing figures.

Fellow Tata-owned brand Jaguar has also contributed to the figures. The Jaguar XF, XK and XJ are all built at Jaguar’s Midlands plants.

Meanwhile, Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port factory currently builds the Vauxhall Astra hatchback and Sport Tourer, one of the four best-selling models in the UK so far in 2011.

Other manufacturers based in the UK include Japanese brands Nissan and Honda, but the effects of the Japanese earthquake on parts supplies could see output from the Sunderland factory and Swindon facility drop in the short term respectively.

Meanwhile, commercial vehicle output dropped slightly by six per cent in March. However, the new Vauxhall will continue to build the new Vauxhall Vivaro van at the Luton site will ensure those figures will improve in future.