February UK car output climbed 3.5% to 141,093 units from 136,346 a year ago. Production for export rose 8% to 93,046 from 86,170.

Year to date production was up 3.7% to 282,413 with exports up 10.2% to 189,435. Exports accounted for 67.1% of the total compared with 63.1% a year ago.

The 12 month cycle of UK car production is now running at its highest annual rate since November 2000 at 1.67 million units.

“While domestic demand is robust, production for the export market is expected to be the focus for growth throughout 2004,” a spokesman for The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

Commerical vehicle production climbed 6.4% in February to 17,335 units while year-to-date output was up 18% to 37,877 units.

Exports accounted for 53.8% of production in the first two months of the year.