Number of new cars falls 12%

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The number of new cars built last month fell by over 12% compared with a year ago but the outlook for the motor industry remains "extremely good", according to figures today.

There were 86,306 vehicles manufactured in the UK in April, 12.2% fewer than April last year, reported the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The number of commercial vehicles built fell by almost 20% to 8,633, while engine manufacture was down by 4.7% to 190,131.

The number of cars built since the start of the year is up by 7% to 443,536, more than four-fifths for export.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: "April's vehicle and engine production figures reflect the global production challenges resulting from the Japanese earthquake. Output was down across the car, commercial vehicle and engine sectors as parts shortages interrupted regular manufacturing schedules.

"All manufacturers are working hard to overcome supply shortages and we expect any downturn to be short lived. The outlook for the UK motor industry is extremely good and this should generate new opportunities for vehicle manufacturers and suppliers."