UK car production rose 1.6% year on year last month to 120,431 units though year-to-date output is off 5.6% to 498,306.


Export volume was down 0.7% to 94,546 and down 5.6% to 374,562 for the year so far.


Reflecting several new model launches, production for the domestic market rose 10.6% to 25,885 but fell 5.8% year-to-date to 123,744.


“So far this century we have seen UK new car production volumes fluctuate and, in the most recent years, decline year on year. However, there are positive signs that things have now stabilised,” said SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan.


“Although only a modest 1.6 per cent rise, it is the second increase this year and is an indication that we have turned the corner following a lengthy period of disruption.”


Commercial vehicle output was up 1.4% to 16,523 units last month, and is down just 0.1% YTD at 73,898 units.


Exports were down 8% to 10,864 (YTD 44,666; -9.8%) while output for the UK rose 26.1% to 5,629 (YTD 29,232; +19.5%).


“Although very welcome, the increase in April production volumes of commercial vehicles in the UK is unsurprising, considering the overall demand for trucks and vans throughout Europe,” said Macgowan. “A number of light commercial vehicle makers were able to increase their output and continue to keep British manufacturing lines rolling.”