UK car production in September fell at the lowest rate in a year - off 16.1% to 119,616 units. Year to date output was, however, down 41.2% to 694,769 cars.

Commercial vehicle production last month was down 53% to 9,716 units and the nine-month tally was off 61.6% to 66,287.

Export car production was down 31.7% to 75,234 units in September and off 42.5% to 519,722 YTD. Commercial exports were down 45.3% to 6,512 last month and off 54.2% to 48,087 for the first nine months.

Trade group SMMT said scrappage scheme demand had boosted home market production with almost one in four vehicles built here last month staying here.

Commercial vehicle output was still "suffering from a lack of business confidence".

"The rate of decline in new car production slowed to its lowest level in a year with the volume of vehicles being produced for the UK market comparatively high," said chief executive Paul Everitt.

"Demand is clearly being underpinned by the scrappage incentive scheme and the extension to the scheme will ensure that demand continues into 2010.

"The UK economy is slowly emerging from recession, but businesses remain reluctant to commit to large capital investments and this is reflected in low demand for commercial vehicles," he added.