UK car making revved up in July as companies reversed a downward trend seen in recent months, according to industry figures.
Manufacturers ramped up production with new models ahead of the key selling month of September, when new licence plates are issued, sending production up 7.8%.
The increase to 136,397 was the first year-on-year monthly rise seen since March, according to the figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Cars made for export – representing the lion’s share of those produced – rose by 5.3%, while there was a much sharper upturn for the domestic market.
It saw an increase of 17.7%, the first rise since November. Separate figures show new car sales in the UK have been falling this year.
The market tends to receive a boost in September when a new licence plate series is issued – with the month accounting for 20% of total sales.
Car production for the year-to-date remained behind, 1.6% down on the same period last year.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “UK car production lines stepped up a gear in July, as usual bringing forward some production to help manage demand ahead of September and routine summer factory shutdowns.
“As the timing and length of these manufacturing pauses can shift each year, market performance comparisons for July and August should always be treated with caution.”
Meanwhile, there was embarrassment for the SMMT as it was forced to issue a revision to figures last week on used car sales.
They had appeared to show a 13.5% plunge in sales in the second quarter of the year, but the industry body said in an update that the fall was actually just 0.7%.
A spokeswoman said there had been “an issue with algorithms”.