UK car production falls 8% but manufacturers report 'pockets of positivity'


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The Independent Online

Car production slowed last month after accelerating ahead in April.

The number of cars produced in the UK in May totalled 129,355 - an 8.4 per cent dip on the May 2012 figure, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

Last month's fall followed a 16.6 per cent rise in April compared with April 2012.

Commercial vehicle (CV) production was also down last month - falling 20 per cent to 7,560, while engine production declined by 8.2 per cent to 223,0125.

The latest figures took the car production total for the year so far to 632,804, which is down just 0.6 per cent on the January-May 2012 total.

CV production for the first five months of this year has fallen 16.1 per cent to 40,037, while engine production has gone down 3.4 per cent to 1,094,732.

SMMT interim chief executive Mike Baunton said: "Despite output falling due to weak European demand, UK car manufacturing in May was above 2007 levels.

"Production levels are holding firm for the year so far, testament to the appeal of UK-built products around the world and significant growth in volumes built for the home market.

"While economic challenges abroad will impact on car output in the short-term, high-value investment by global automotive companies sets UK industry on course for prosperity in the long-term."

On CV production, Mr Baunton said: "CV manufacturers continue to battle against weak demand, particularly abroad.

"Demand for UK-built CVs in the home market grew moderately, but this was not enough to lessen the significant drop in export volumes."

He went on: "2013 is going to be a hard year for the UK's CV manufacturers but there are pockets of positivity with some areas of the industry experiencing growth as operators take advantage of the wide range of CVs built in the UK."