UK car production reverses more slowly

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The fall in UK car production slowed in October, to its slowest rate of year-on-year decline so far in 2009, stoking the optimism that has crept into the industry since the launch of the cash-for-bangers scheme.

A total of 106,400 cars came off the production lines last month, a drop of just 6.7 per cent on the figure for October 2008, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Commercial vehicle production fell 39.5 per cent.

Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, said he was cheered by signs the world economy was pulling out of recession, but predicted at least one more challenging year.

"The scrappage scheme and early signs of recovery in global markets offer some encouragement to UK vehicle producers, but 2010 is expected to be another difficult year for the industry." Car production for the year-to-date is down 38.1 per cent on 2008, and commercial vehicle numbers are off 60.0 per cent.