LONDON Dec 22 Britain built more cars in the
first eleven months of 2016 than any full year since 2004, data
from an industry body showed on Thursday, putting the sector on
course to make more vehicles this year than in any other since
Just over 1.61 million cars were made in the year to
November, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)
said, ahead of 2015 total output of 1.59 million units, helped
by a 13 percent year-on-year rise last month to 169,247 cars.
Last December British car plants churned out just over
110,000 cars making it highly likely that total output in 2016
will exceed 1.7 million units for the first time since 1999.
Britain is expected to build 1.74 million cars this year,
according to consultancy LMC Automotive.
There are concerns however, that growth in years to come
could be hit by Brexit.
Indian-owned Jaguar Land Rover and Japan's Nissan
built almost two thirds of Britain's total output last
year but have warned about the uncertainty created by the Brexit
vote and the possibility of tariffs imposed on car exports.
It can take around two to three years between an automaker
deciding to build a new model and the first car rolling off the
production line meaning any Brexit effect may take a while to
feed through into output levels.
"These latest results are the product of significant
investments made over the past few years," SMMT CEO Mike Hawes
"(It) will continue only if we can maintain the competitive
trading conditions that have enabled the UK to become an
automotive success story."
(Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)