Output is significantly up for 2012, while registrations are stable and the Focus is best-seller

Car manufacturing in the UK is significantly up in 2012 compared with the previous year, thanks to increased demand from overseas and growth in the UK's engine-building industry, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This contrasts with domestic car sales, which have decreased very slightly.

SMMT figures reveal that in 2012, 23.5 per cent more cars were built in February compared with the same month last year, meaning output is up 19.6 per cent for the year to date.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said the figures show a "trend of strong export-led growth, confirming the importance of manufacturing to a rebalanced and prosperous economy. The UK automotive sector continues to attract investment and generate new jobs."

Everitt also appealed for government help to maintain growth. He said, "Despite recent success there can be no complacency and it is essential the Chancellor uses next week’s Budget to deliver on its growth strategy and boost the UK’s competitiveness by encouraging private sector investment in R&D, capital equipment and skills.”

Engine-building in the UK increased 3.6 per cent in February, contributing to a 4.3 per cent rise for the year so far.

The increases are in contrast to stagnant car sales, which are down 0.8 per cent for 2012 following a 2.5 per cent fall in February when 61,868 new cars were registered. Private sales bolstered that total following an increase of 2.1 per cent for the year to date, while March will provide a better indicator to market trends with around 350,000 12-plate registrations expected during the traditional sales hump.

Ford was the industry's biggest winner in February, achieving over 1400 more sales than the same month last year, partly due to strong performance of the Focus, which became the UK's best-selling car following 11 months at the top for the Fiesta.

Richard Webber

Join the debate

Comments
8

15 March 2012

First the Freelander/Evoque jobs and now this. I don't think I can take any more good news!

15 March 2012

[quote Autocar]SMMT figures reveal that in 2012, 23.5 per cent more cars were built in February compared with the same month last year, meaning output is up 19.6 per cent[/quote]

This is good news, however you have to look into the figures to understand how this is made up; the answer is mostly by good performances from JLR, Bentley, Mini, Honda and Nissan to varying degrees of success, tempered by poor outputs from Aston Martin, Lotus, Rolls-Royce, Toyota and Vauxhall who are all showing significantly lower outputs than last year.

As has been discussed elsewhere, Lotus stands out as the worst result, only 22 cars produced in February compared to 163 last year, nearly 87% down. Unfortunately Aston Martin isn't far behind, 65% down on last year's figure. At the other end of the scale, Bentley's output for February is up 109% on last year!

15 March 2012

[quote curious_insider] Lotus stands out as the worst result, only 22 cars produced in February compared to 163 last year[/quote]

It is a very bad performance. The base Lotus Elise is still a very good car and offers fun and great driving sensations for the price. They should have focused on making it cheaper to make. Maybe with the spring and summer the sales will grow.

15 March 2012

[quote matsoc]

[quote curious_insider] Lotus stands out as the worst result, only 22 cars produced in February compared to 163 last year[/quote]

It is a very bad performance. The base Lotus Elise is still a very good car and offers fun and great driving sensations for the price. They should have focused on making it cheaper to make. Maybe with the spring and summer the sales will grow.

[/quote]

Only 2, that's right TWO Elise cars built in February. 97% down on last year's output.

I would suggest sadly that given these figures, and the recent news that development work on the new projects is on hold, that we are watching the end of Lotus in it's current state.

15 March 2012

[quote curious_insider]

Only 2, that's right TWO Elise cars built in February. 97% down on last year's output.

I would suggest sadly that given these figures, and the recent news that development work on the new projects is on hold, that we are watching the end of Lotus in it's current state.

[/quote]

Very sad, in Italy too there is big group of Lotus fans, especially in track days enthusiasts. Years ago I co-owned a track only Exige with some friends, great!

I hope a big car maker find Lotus an attractive purchase but it seems unlikely at the moment.

15 March 2012

[quote curious_insider] This is good news, however you have to look into the figures to understand how this is made up; the answer is mostly by good performances from JLR, Bentley, Mini, Honda and Nissan to varying degrees of success, tempered by poor outputs from Aston Martin, Lotus, Rolls-Royce, Toyota and Vauxhall who are all showing significantly lower outputs than last year.[/quote]

Rolls Royce sales in 2011 were up by 31% compared with 2010. Year 2010 sales were up by 150% 0n year 2009 sales. All figures are total worldwide sales from the BBC website

15 March 2012

[quote Maxycat][quote curious_insider] This is good news, however you have to look into the figures to understand how this is made up; the answer is mostly by good performances from JLR, Bentley, Mini, Honda and Nissan to varying degrees of success, tempered by poor outputs from Aston Martin, Lotus, Rolls-Royce, Toyota and Vauxhall who are all showing significantly lower outputs than last year.[/quote]

Rolls Royce sales in 2011 were up by 31% compared with 2010. Year 2010 sales were up by 150% 0n year 2009 sales. All figures are total worldwide sales from the BBC website

[/quote]

Different figures, we're comparing 2011 with 2012.

Today's SMMT figures for Rolls Royce

Feb 2012 269 cars

Feb 2011 320

% -15.9

YTD 2012 415

YTD 2011 542

% -23.4


15 March 2012

Looks like they refreshed the Phantom just in time.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron UK review
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    First UK drive finds the facelifted A3 Sportback e-tron remains a first-rate plug-in hybrid that is packed with tech if a little short on driver appeal
  • Citroen C11.2 Puretech 82 Furio
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    Citroën's city car gets a new sporty-looking trim level, adding visual adornments, but no premium for the 1.2-litre Puretech triple we're driving
  • Mercedes C350e Sport
    First Drive
    28 September 2016
    Petrol-electric C-Class is a surprisingly well-priced alternative to a diesel but not the greatest example of the new ‘PHEV’ breed
  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka