Although the comparison is against a severely depleted level of output early last year, UK car production is continuing to show sharp growth with car production in March up 90% on last year.
The SMMT said that there was a record 90.2% rise in UK car production in March, the fifth successive month of growth.
In the month of March car production reached 117,622 units. First quarter car production reached 316,067 units, 72.7% ahead of last year.
Output for both home and export markets has increased, with home production more than doubling, accounting for 27.6% of output during the first quarter.
There was also a welcome uptick for commercial vehicles. Commercial vehicle output rose 61.6% to just over 13,000 units; UK engine production was up 43.6% to 234,506 units.
“UK automotive production continued to make progress in March with strong growth in commercial vehicle, engine and car production,” said SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt.
“Headline figures highlight the scale of challenges faced this time last year, but also demonstrate a steady improvement in demand in home and export markets. Industry will continue to face tough market conditions with the Scrappage Incentive Scheme closing and limited access to finance and credit for consumers and businesses. A solid exchange rate and the world class competitiveness of the UK industry should help to sustain demand over the longer term.”