While the full year figures for 2009 were considerably lower than in 2008, dropping some 30.9 percent, the SMMT considers the December figures are sign of economic recovery. Yes, the automotive industry suffered a major blow in 2009, with many corporations struggling to survive, but the latest statistics show the drive for recovery. Commercial vehicle output rose in December for the first time in 17 months.
In the spotlight was the Land Rover Range Rover, who recorded the biggest increase in December production. According to J.D. Power Automotive Forecasting, the SUV built in Solihull, England doubled its production volume to 1,242 units. Land Rover seems to be getting back on track for 2010, with a full-year performance of 98,436 units, accounting for a 16 percent rise in production. The same J.D. Power stats show the Land Rover Discovery enjoyed an 89 percent production increase to 2,435 units in December.
"The significant rise in December vehicle production is welcome news and signals some greater stability across global automotive markets," said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt. "We expect the year ahead to be extremely challenging, but the return of economic growth and a competitive exchange rate will help UK producers."
Published for the first time, the engine production statistics showed that 2009 however was an excellent year for the British automotive industry in terms of building engines. The production more than doubled here, with almost three quarters of the engines exported.
"This underlines the significant role the UK plays in global automotive manufacturing and demonstrates the sheer scale of the motor industry in the UK," Everitt said.