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UK's car output continues growth streak for six months in July- SMMT

FILE PHOTO: Aerial view of cars parked in Bristol

(Reuters) - Britain's car production rose for the sixth consecutive month in July as automakers continued to recover from global chip shortages, an industry body said on Thursday.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said a total of 76,451 units rolled out of factory lines in the country last month, a 31.6% increase over the year earlier.

"Six months of growth shows that British car production is recovering and, with electrified models increasingly driving volumes, the future is more positive," said SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes.

Production of latest high-tech hybrid electric (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) rose about 74% to 30,180 units, representing almost two in every five cars manufactured in July.

The total number of cars produced, however, remained 29.4% lower from the pre-pandemic levels seen in July 2019.

The UK's car industry, a significant driver of manufacturing and exports, got a boost last month when India's Tata Motors committed to build a major EV battery plant in Britain to supply its Jaguar Land Rover factories.

"Recent investment announcements have undoubtedly bolstered the sector but global competition remains tough," said Hawes.

SMMT had said in July it could take five more years for Britain to return to producing 1 million or more cars a year.

(Reporting by Anchal Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)