UK car production at seven-year high

Annual figures show that UK car plants produced more than 1.5 million vehicles last year, the highest number since 2007.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) demand for premium brands, such as Jaguar Land Rover, had helped increase annual sales by an overall 1.2%.

However, for the second year running, the number of vehicles exported fell.

SMMT’s chief executive, Mike Hawes, said: “The industry has overcome various challenges, including slower than expected EU recovery and weakness in some global markets.”

He added that the popularity of premium and specialist brands around the world meant that the overall value of car exports had doubled between 2005 and 2014.

He said that more than £7bn of investment into UK production facilities had been announced in the past two years.

Nissan’s factory in Sunderland built the most cars by any single British-based manufacturer, with 500,238 rolling off its production line.