British car makers

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Jaguar XE in production at Solihull Land Rover factory

BRITISH car makers continued with strong growth in March with output increasing 9.8 per cent to 159,074 units, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The SMMT says that one car was produced in the UK every 16.7 seconds in March.

Demand from overseas showed the biggest gains, up 14.3 per cent in the month, while production for the home market was broadly stable, falling slightly by -1.4 per cent.

It was a trend reflected in first quarter figures, with exports for the first three months growing 11.1 per cent to 329,653 units, while domestic output also rose by 8 per cent, buoyed by stronger growth in January and February, to take overall manufacturing volumes to 443,581, an increase of 10.3 per cent.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive,said: "UK car plants were at their busiest for 12 years in March,with a vehicle rolling off production lines every 16 seconds thanks to heightened international demand for British-built cars.

"Much will depend on economic and political conditions in key markets but,with several brand new global modelsstarting production here in the first quarter alone, the prospects for future growth look bright."

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