Best year for UK car industry since 2008

Luke Graham, special to CNBC

Almost 100,000 vehicles rolled off U.K. production lines in August, bringing the year-to-date total to over a million cars – the best figure since the start of the global financial crisis in 2008, according to industry data.

The data, released Thursday by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), shows that 99,910 cars were produced in August, a rise of 40 percent compared to the same month last year.

A Range Rover Sport SUV on the production line at car manufacturing plant in Solihull, U.K.
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Usually, the summer months are less busy, according to SMMT's chief executive Mike Hawes.

"The quieter summer months are traditionally subject to fluctuation as production is paused for essential upgrades, and August's strong growth wasn't unexpected given the 22.1 percent fall in the same month last year when the 2014 holiday period fell," Hawes said in a press release.

Year-to-date, output has increased by 1.6 percent to 1,011,127 in 2015 from 994,951 in 2014.

"With an overall increase of 1.6 percent so far in 2015 and the strongest year-to-date performance since 2008, the industry is in a good position," Hawes added.

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This was backed up by Ian Fletcher, an autos analyst with IHS, who told CNBC he expects U.K. production to reach 1.55 million units for the year.

"An even more significant uplift will be recorded during the next couple of years when output will peak at 1.78 million units during 2017, underpinned by new models and investment that has been made by original equipment manufacturers," he told CNBC via email.

The number of cars made for the U.K. market has increased by 11 percent from 213,772 to 237,438 cars.

However, the number of cars for export has dipped by one percent from 781,179 down to 773,689. The slight fall is down to a fall-off in demand for premium models in key markets such as China and Russia, Thomas Glendinning, an autos analyst with BMI Research told CNBC by email.

"On the whole this is not a reflection of a more widespread issue with export markets, as we are seeing positive growth in the rest of Europe - a major destination for U.K. exports," he added.

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