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The car part production in the UK is helping to boost growth in the manufacturing sector and leading the country's economic recovery.

New figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that both production and exports of cars and engines increased in 2011.

According to the data, vehicle manufacturing rose 1.6 per cent in December, helping to achieve annual growth of 5.8 per cent in 2011.

Meanwhile, figures suggest that many car engines for sale around the world could have been produced in the UK, with engine manufacturing rising by 4.9 per cent last year, despite a small drop off of 1.3 per cent in the final month of 2011.

UK car part production taking a lead

"UK vehicle and engine production continues to lead the manufacturing recovery with increased output and exports taking a record-breaking share," said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.

Last year saw a number of vehicle manufactures commit to continued UK-based production, helping to secure new model programmes, facilities and jobs for the future, added Mr Everitt.

"It is essential that industry and government continue to work in partnership to maximise the opportunities at all levels of the UK supply chain and encourage more investment in R&D, skills and new plant and machinery," he added.

It follows the news earlier this week that a new group comprising government departments and representatives from the utility, gas, infrastructure and car manufacturing sectors is to look into ways to make sure the UK is prepared for the commercial roll-out of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles.

Called UKH2Mobility, the group will develop an action plan for creating the infrastructure and production mechanisms for the roll-out of hydrogen-powered vehicles earmarked for 2014/15.

Part of its role will be to identify ways to make sure the UK a leader in manufacturing hydrogen fuel cars and components.