UK car production rose by 7.6% in May 2004, to 143,134 units.

Output has risen in four of the first five months of 2004 and in 10 of the last 12 months. For the year to the end of May, total production rose 2.3% to 718,279 units. Exports were up 6.1% to 501,694 while UK market production fell 5.7% to 216,585.

May commercial vehicle production was up 20.9% to 16,884 and, for the year to the end of May, was up 16.3% to 90,668. Exports were up 22.2% to 53,199 while home market production rose 8.8% to 37,469.

Growth in output for UK markets showed a year on year fall of 2.1% for three months to May.

SMMT chief executive, Christopher Macgowan, said: “Much of the growth in CV output can be attributed to strong demand for UK-built products in continental European markets. This is particularly true for light commercial vehicles made at plants in Luton (GM) and Southampton (Ford), which now account for around three quarters of all commercial vehicle output.”