John Leech, partner in KPMG’s Automotive practice, comments on the SMMT car production figures:
“Despite weakening demand in the UK and Eurozone, UK car production rose on the back of strong exports to developing economies such as China. Figures show that total new car production for 2011 was 5.8% up at 1.3 million, although this remains substantially down on the 1.9 million cars made in 2004.
“Weak local demand has seen UK manufacturers scaling back production – 2011 was adversely impacted by the Japanese earthquake and Thai floods so 2012 will see significant new models entering production at Nissan, Honda and Toyota. In the UK, we expect total production to strengthen in 2012 to 1.4 million new cars.
“All in all, we expect a gradually improving story with the second half of 2012 faring better than the first half. There are significant investments in new models and production capacity at a number of plants, notably at JLR and BMW. Despite the threats from global macroeconomic uncertainty, there’s great potential for the UK auto industry to grow and develop from a manufacturing and supply-chain perspective.”
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