LONDON, March 23 British car production hit a
17-year high in February, extending a recent trend of surging
output as a strong rise in exports once again compensated for a
slump in demand at home, an industry body said on Thursday.
Overall production rose 8 percent to 153,041 cars last
month, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and
Traders (SMMT), boosted by a 13 percent increase in sales to
The roughly 15 percent fall in the pound against the euro
since the Brexit vote has helped to make British exports cheaper
to many foreign buyers, although it has increased the cost of
importing parts from the continent for UK-assembled models.
Britain's overwhelmingly foreign-owned car industry backed
remaining in the European Union and is worried about the
possible end to tariff-free business with Europe, its biggest
export market, despite reassurances from Prime Minister Theresa
"We must avoid barriers to trade, whether tariff, customs or
other regulatory obstacles, at all costs," said SMMT Chief
Executive Mike Hawes.
"To do otherwise would damage our competitiveness and
threaten the continued success of UK automotive manufacturing,"
(Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Keith Weir)