Car production in the UK in 2013 rose to its best level since 2007, according to the trade body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
The SMMT said production rose 3.1 per cent from 2012 and more than 1.5 million cars were made, one every 20 seconds.
It said sales surged at home and world demand was robust.
The SMMT predicted he UK could become Europe’s third biggest car maker, behind Germany and Spain.
It claimed carmakers in the UK could break all time production records by 2017.
The figures were welcomed by Rachel Eade, automotive sector lead for the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS).
She said: “The figures cap a fantastic 2013 for the UK automotive industry, with massive investment from the car makers, record car sales from our best brands and news of a new £92 million National Automotive Innovation Campus being built.
“The hundreds of suppliers we work with on the ground are reporting significant increases in demand and having to invest quickly in tooling, recruitment and capital equipment to really take advantage of these opportunities.
“This is something MAS is helping the supply chain to cope with.
"We can work with management teams on developing strategy, improving workflow and processes and also in linking them to new technology hubs to make the most of new advancements in automotive manufacturing.
“The big manufacturers will take most of the headlines, but we shouldn’t take for granted the role the supply chain has played in making the UK an attractive location for making cars again.”