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UK car production rises in March

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The number of cars produced in the UK rose 14.8% year-on-year to 135,052 in March, according to new figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

A total of 12,267 commercial vehicles were produced last month, down 6% year-on-year, with new owners no doubt rushing to car insurance providers to take out adequate cover.

Engine production rose 6.5% to 249,757 in March, figures show.

However, the SMMT warned that the country's car production industry is set to see a manufacturing dip in the wake of the Japan earthquake.

Honda has announced that it will cut back on production at its plant in Swindon, Wiltshire, while another Japanese firm, Toyota, will be reducing output next month at its facility in Burnaston, Derbyshire.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of SMMT, said: "UK automotive manufacturing demonstrated encouraging growth across the car and engine sectors in March, continuing the strong performance of quarter one (January-March).

"The eighth consecutive monthly rise in car output and robust export demand indicate long-term strength and stability in the sector.

"However, recent announcements from UK-based manufacturers impacted by the Japanese earthquake are likely to see output drop in the short term."

© Press Association 2011