LONDON -- UK car production rose by an annual 7.8 percent in July as automakers boosted output ahead of the key selling month of September, reversing the downward trend recorded in recent months.
Factories produced 136,397 vehicles, the SMMT said on Thursday, the first year-on-year increase since March.
Exports, which account for around 80 percent of output, rose 5.3 percent while cars destined for the home market surged by 18 percent, the first increase since November.
September is one of only two occasions each year when a new license plate series is issued and accounts for around 20 percent of total sales.
"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," Mike Hawes, head of industry association SMMT, said in a statement.
"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," Hawes said.
Hawes said last month that output in 2017 would probably be closer to 1.8 million units than a previous forecast of 1.9 million, as uncertainty over future Brexit trading arrangements weighed on the sector.