UK car production shifts up a gear

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The Independent Online

Car production accelerated ahead at the start of the year, it was announced today.

The number of cars produced in the UK last month totalled 110,179 - a rise of 8.9% on the January 2010 figure, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

Commercial vehicle production also rose 8.9% last month to 9,967, with engine manufacturing increasing 12%.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: "UK automotive manufacturing made a flying start to 2011 despite tough economic conditions.

"The encouraging figures demonstrate ongoing growth in global demand for the high-quality vehicles and engines manufactured in the UK at some of the world's leading sites."

He went on: "Automotive is leading the manufacturing revival, but to ensure this positive trend continues, the Government must prioritise UK manufacturing, through a supportive tax system, plus sustained investment in skills, research and development (R&D) and capital equipment.

"Ahead of the Budget in March, SMMT is urging the Chancellor to provide R&D tax credits for small and large companies, to increase capital allowances and to reflect the sector's importance through the business rates system."