UK car production up sharply in February
Published: 18th Mar 2010 10:32:32
UK car production increased sharply in February, figures have shown, rising 62.7% on the same month last year.
It marks the fourth month in a row that output has seen a year-on-year increase, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, said the figures were "encouraging" and attributed the rise to the weakness of the pound helping exporters.
UK engine production was up 58.9% in February, said the SMMT.
"Sterling movement has made UK-built products more competitive, enabling the UK to work through challenging economic conditions," Mr Everitt said.
"UK-built engines and vehicles are exported to over 100 markets worldwide, offering some resilience to local market conditions," he added.
In total, 97,255 cars were produced in February, with 70,482 of these - or 72.5% - exported.
Commercial vehicle output also recovered sharply, up 74.2% from a year ago to 10,226 units.
Although Mr Everitt was optimistic about the motor industry's future, he said it was important that the Budget on March 24 did nothing to undermine confidence.
"Industry looks to next week's Budget to maintain stability in demand through continued investment in new products.
"Manufacturers and government need to work together to ensure that there is continued investment in new products and technology to sustain future growth," Mr Everitt said.
Car production levels fell to a 25-year low in 2009, but have been helped by the introduction of the scrappage scheme, manufacturers say.
The scheme, which stops at the end of this month, offers a £2,000 incentive to trade in old cars for new.
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2010. UK car production up sharply in February [Online] (Updated 18th Mar 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/45338/UK-car-production-up-sharply-in-February [Accessed 11th Mar 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
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