UK car production rises 6.1% in March - industry body

An employee works on a car at the Aston Martin factory in Gaydon

(Reuters) - British car production rose for a second consecutive month, climbing 6.1% year-on-year in March, as the global shortage of semiconductors and other components eased further, industry body Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said on Friday.

In March, 81,605 cars were made in Britain, taking the first-quarter output to 219,887 units - 6% higher than the corresponding three-month period a year earlier.

Exports drove the growth in production by British car makers, which rose 10.4% to 61,546 units and accounted for almost eight in 10 cars manufactured in March.

The strength in exports also offset a 5.1% decline in cars made for the UK domestic market.

"A second consecutive month of growth for UK car production gives cause for optimism, though volumes are still well below pre-pandemic levels," SMMT CEO Mike Hawes said in a statement.

The trend of a surge in the manufacturing of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-powered electric vehicles continued, with output in the segment soaring 75% in March, to 32,546 units.

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Pooja Desai)