Car manufacturing in the UK grew by 31.6% during October, increasing confidence that the industry could hit its target of producing 1 million light vehicles this year.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reported that 91,512 vehicles had rolled off the production line by the end of the month. This was the strongest October performance for four years. This comes on the back of a strong month in September too, when output rose by 40%. It was the eighth month of growth in 2023.

The outlook for independent light vehicle production has been revised and the UK is forecast to produce 1m cars and vans this year, an 18% increase on 2022.

“These figures, coming on the back of a series of significant  investment announcements, signpost a bright 2024 for the UK automotive sector”, said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive. "Last week’s publication of an Advanced Manufacturing Plan and Battery Strategy, the announcement of permanent full expensing in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and the £2bn commitment Government has made to advanced automotive manufacturing, underscore the increasing competitiveness of the UK.”

"Automotive remains one of the country’s most critical industries, delivering jobs, productivity and economic growth across the country.”

Last month it was announced that Nissan had committed to building three new electric models at its Sunderland factory, amounting to an additional £2 billion of investment. The government also unveiled its first ever EV battery strategy, in which it committed £2 billion of funding for new capital and R&D, helping to support the domestic manufacture of lithium ion batteries.