Outlook for car manufacturing “remains positive”

Christopher Macgowan, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), has responded to figures revealing that UK vehicle production is down, stressing that the outlook for the industry remains positive.

According to the SMMT figures, there were a total of 138,036 cars produced in March, 13.2 per cent fewer than were made last year.

Some 37,873 of these vehicles stayed in the UK and 100,163 were exported.

For the whole year to date, 377,875 cars have come off British production lines, a 7.7 per cent reduction on the first three months of 2006.

Mr Macgowan referred to the recent announcement that production of the next-generation Vauxhall Astra is to be produced at Ellesmere Port, Liverpool, describing the development as "further recognition of the skills and efficiency of the British car worker".

"Although total car production for March was down, we should remind ourselves that a number of manufacturers have seen positive growth during the first quarter of 2007 and that the long term prosperity for car manufacturing remains positive," the SMMT chief added.

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