News story

UK car production accelerates to highest level for 17 years

UK car production has reached its highest level since 1999, with over 1.6 million cars built this year (2016).


The UK auto sector is having a great year according to the latest stats from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Car production has reached its highest level since 1999, with over 1.6 million cars built this year with over 80% destined for overseas markets. Almost 170,000 vehicles were built last month (November 2016), nearly 13% higher than the same period last year.

Reacting to the news, Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said:

Our car manufacturing industry is going from strength to strength and today’s figures are further proof of this. With production reaching its highest level this century and exports up again, there is no better time to thank our hard working men and women across the auto sector who have made this possible.

This government continues to back the UK auto sector and recently we announced a further £390 million investment in the next generation of electric and autonomous cars. We are working closely with the SMMT, and others, on building an Industrial Strategy that will further upgrade our competitiveness, productivity and create high skilled jobs.

The UK auto sector has been boosted by Nissan’s decision to build its next generation Qashqai and X-trail at its plant in Sunderland, securing thousands of jobs both at Nissan and across the supply chain.

Government is continuing to back the UK auto sector. The next 10 years will see more change than the last 100, and we are investing so the UK can lead this revolution. That is why we announced at Autumn Statement that £390 million will be invested to further develop cleaner, connected and autonomous vehicles, strengthening the UK’s position as a leader in the this vital sector.

Climate Change and Industry Minister Nick Hurd joined the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis, at a recent roundtable with the top auto companies to listen to their views on Brexit negotiations. Mr Davis reaffirmed the importance the government places on the UK’s world leading automotive industry and we will continue to engage with them, and the SMMT, as we develop our comprehensive Industrial Strategy.

Published 22 December 2016