The SMMT has released data that shows UK car manufacturing output was at its highest February level for 17 years last month as car production rose 8.0% to 153,041 units.

Overseas demand drove output, with 13.4% growth of exports (118,898 units) in February taking year-to-date output to 301,004.

However, home market production was down -7.4% in the month and -5.6% year-to-date.

In the first two months of the year, exports of UK-made cars grew 12.1%, with 236,832 units shipped abroad, offsetting a decline in domestic demand of -5.6% to 64,172.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, "Today's figures illustrate the continuing global popularity of British-built vehicles and the export-led nature of the industry. With eight out of every 10 cars we produce destined for international markets – and half of those for customers in the EU – we must avoid barriers to trade, whether tariff, customs or other regulatory obstacles, at all costs. To do otherwise would damage our competitiveness and threaten the continued success of UK automotive manufacturing."