Vehicle production in the UK rose 12.5% in November to 122,134 units, the first rise since September 2008. Car production was up 15.7% to 112,948 units, boosted by the recently extended scrappage scheme but commercial output slipped 16.2% to 9,186 vehicles.

Year to date, UK output was down 37.2% to 997,525 vehicles with car output off 34.4% to 914,117 units and commercials down 57.6% to 83,408.

Car exports also rose last month - 6.1% to 88,172 - reflecting ongoing European scrappage scheme sales and were off 35.7% to 695,561 year to date. Commercial exports fell 16.2% to 6,773 in November and were down 49.4% to 61,331 year to date.

"November saw the first increase in UK car production since September 2008, reflecting the positive impact of scrappage schemes and economic stability in a number of major European markets," said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.

"Total vehicle production is still well below previous levels and 2010 is set to be another tough year with considerable uncertainty at home and abroad. It is essential that governments continue to sustain and strengthen economic recovery, improving access to credit and encouraging investment in new technologies and products."

He added: "Weak demand in key sectors of the economy and fragile business confidence continues to stall recovery in commercial vehicle output. Production volumes have fallen in every month since September 2008."

"While the November figures represent the smallest recorded fall in the past 14 months, the sector is still down almost 60% on the year-to-date."