By Jonathan Davies

Car production in the UK rose to a seven-year high in the first half of 2015, according to the industry trade body.

The Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said production was up 0.3% to 793,642 between January and the end of June. It's the best half-year for car production since 2008.

The figures mean that the UK produced three cars every minute in the six months.

There was, however, a slump in UK demand in June, with production dropping 7.1%. Although growth in export demand was high at 5.4%, it wasn't enough to offset the fall in the UK.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “Today’s figures are testament to the ever-increasing demand for the diverse, high-quality range of cars we make in the UK. The sector is ahead of the game on productivity, with investment in efficient, high-tech manufacturing processes and a highly skilled workforce resulting in huge gains over the past decade.

“This success has been built on significant industry investment and has also relied on a positive relationship with government, essential if the industry is to maintain its international competitiveness.”