Car output holds up, but engine production dips in January

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Car output made a solid start to 2014, with January production just 0.3% off 2013 performance, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

It said analysts expected growth over full year as newly introduced models moved to full-scale production. There were also signs of European market recovery, significant for overseas trade; around 50% of exports go to EU. SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "UK car manufacturing made a solid start to 2014, matching the strength of January last year. "We expect domestic car output to accelerate throughout 2014 as new model introductions reach full volume. Looking further ahead, we anticipate further growth as investments by some of the world's biggest automotive brands become reality, creating more jobs and huge opportunities for UK-based suppliers." Meanwhile, the SMMT said UK engine manufacturing declined by 6.1% in January 2014 to 206,291 units. The drop followed a sharp fall in output for the home market, down 17.4%, although export volumes held. The SMMT added that the dip in engine demand linked to newly introduced UK-built models which were still gearing up to full output levels. The rolling 12 months tally remains over 2.5 million units.