LONDON, July 24 British car production showed
annual growth of more than 3 percent in the first six months of
2014 thanks to new models and further expansion is expected, an
automotive industry body said on Thursday.
Car production in June was up 3.7 percent on the year to
just over 136,000. This took the total number of cars built so
far in 2014 to more than 790,000, or 3.5 percent more than in
the same period in 2013.
Among the new models to roll off British production lines in
the past 12 months are Honda's estate Civic Tourer and
a new version of Nissan's Qashqai sports-utility
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor
Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), welcomed the figures but
cautioned that Britain needed to match growing production with
"With this growth comes a need to bolster the domestic
supply chain and address major skills shortages, both of which
the UK industry is committed to addressing," he said.
Only around a third of the parts that go into locally-made
cars are manufactured in Britain. The government and industry
have identified around 3 billion pounds ($5 billion) worth of
parts that could be produced domestically.
Britain made 1.5 million cars in 2013, returning to levels
seen before the 2008-09 financial crisis after which they
nose-dived, and is expected to surpass an all-time high of 1.92
million by 2017.
The SMMT said it expected further new models to be rolled
out in the coming months.
($1 = 0.5871 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Gareth Jones)