Car production went up 3.5% last month in the UK, said the SMMT.
The car plants built 157,056 cars in October to meet a 5% rise in exports contrasting with 2.9% fall at home.
The European car industry showed its resilience in October 2017, with new registrations totalling 1,202,877, an increase of 5.6% when compared to October 2016.
This is the highest volume recorded for October since 2009, when 1.26 million units were registered but within those totals the sales of diesel cars hit a ten-year low.
Despite a turbulent 2017, results for the first ten months of the year show an overall increase in registrations of 3.6%, with 13.18 million units registered over the period. This is the highest volume recorded since 2007, when 13.62 million vehicles were registered during the same ten month timeframe.
Growth was driven by increased demand for gasoline, electric and hybrid vehicles, and the stellar performance of SUVs. Strong results in major European markets including France, Italy, Spain, Poland and the Netherlands all contributed to October’s positive performance. The performance of these markets offset the decline in demand for diesel vehicles, and the decline in the UK market where registrations were down by 12.2% compared to October 2016.
There was significant variation in the performance of fuel types in October as 619,300 gasoline vehicles were registered during the month, meaning the fuel type accounted for 51.5% of the market, an increase in market share of 5.1 percentage points.
In contrast, demand for diesel vehicles declined, with 498,500 units registered, a drop of 9.9%. As a result, the fuel type accounted for 41.4% of the total market, the lowest market share for October in the last ten years. In contrast, AFVs reported the second highest market share ever recorded in October 2017, with 66,000 electric and hybrid vehicles registered. The category accounted for 5.5% of total registrations.
In contrast, ten years ago in October 2007, AFVs accounted for only 0.3% of the market.