British car output jumps 44 percent in April: trade data

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British car output surged 44 percent in April compared with the level 12 months earlier when the nation was mired in a deep recession, trade data showed on Thursday.

A total 98,290 new cars were produced in Britain last month on higher demand for new vehicles, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said in a statement.

"Output in April is up across the car, commercial vehicle and engine sectors compared to the same time last year, reflecting a good start to the second quarter of 2010," said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.

"A number of UK product launches and the introduction of new technologies are helping to sustain demand despite an expected slowdown following the end of the scrappage scheme.

"The home market saw a significant increase in the month, a positive indication of a strengthening economy and an improvement in consumer confidence," he added.

Britain's Scrappage Incentive Scheme -- a government initiative that subsidised the cost of buying a new vehicle -- ended on March 31.

It had allowed car-owners to trade in a 10-year-old vehicle for a 2,000-pound (2,204-euro, 3,009-dollar) discount on a new car. The discount was equally shared between the government and manufacturer.

The initiative was introduced in April 2009 to boost the carmaking sector which took a severe hit during the economic downturn.

Around 400,000 new car registrations were generated under the incentive scheme, according to recent government figures.

In the ten months to the end of March, more than one fifth of all new cars registered in Britain were bought via the scheme.

© 2010 AFP

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