Car making hits six-year high

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Car production rose 3.1% in 2013 to surpass 1.5 million units – the highest volume since 2007, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Industry analysts predict output to reach record levels of around two million units by 2017. The UK could become the third largest car manufacturer in Europe SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "2013 demonstrated the value of the UK's diverse car manufacturing industry as surging home demand and robust exports outside Europe saw output grow 3.1% to over 1.5 million units. "UK automotive investment announcements exceeded £2.5 billion in 2013, reinforcing industry analysts' suggestions that the UK could break all-time car output records within the next four years." Business Secretary Vince Cable added: "Our success lies in the appetite from countries around the world for British cars. Around 80% of the 1.5 million cars we produced last year were exported – a testament to the diverse, high quality of British manufacturing." Rachel Eade, automotive sector lead for the Manufacturing Advisory Service, said the figures capped a fantastic 2013 for the UK automotive industry with massive investment from the car makers, record car sales and news of a new £92 National Automotive Innovation Campus being built. She added: "All of this has created a groundswell of positivity around the sector and this is undoubtedly flowing down into tiers 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on. The hundreds of suppliers we work with on the ground are reporting significant increases in demand and having to invest quickly in tooling, recruitment and capital equipment to really take advantage of these opportunities."