UK car manufacturing grew 3.9 per cent in 2015 to reach a 10-year high of 1.59 million vehicles, according to a new industry report.
The level of output was boosted by the economic recovery in Europe as a record 1.23 million cars were exported.
"Despite export challenges in some key markets such as Russia and China, foreign demand for British-built cars has been strong, reaching record export levels in the past year," said Mike Hawes, the chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
"Continued growth in an intensely competitive global marketplace is far from guaranteed, however, and depends heavily on global economic conditions and political stability, Mr Hawes said.
“Europe is our biggest trading partner and the UK's membership of the European Union is vital for the automotive sector in order to secure future growth and jobs."
A total of 114,842 cars rolled off the production lines in December, compared with 108,721 for the same month of 2014, taking the number for full-year 2015 to 1.59 million, compared with 1.53 million in the previous year, the SMMT said.
Of those cars manufactured in December, 19,656 were for British customers, a fall of 13 per cent from the previous December, while the number of cars exported rose to 95,186, up from 86,186 a year earlier.
For the full year, 359,796 cars were manufactured for the home market, a rise of 8.1 per cent, while those exported rose 2.7 per cent to 1.23 million.
The figures come as the UK automotive industry gears up for a wave of new models following billions of pounds worth of recent investment into the UK.
Eight new car models were produced in UK plants in 2015, and with 2.5 billion pounds ($US3.54 billion) of fresh investment committed to the sector in 2015, more are set to follow in the coming months, the SMMT said.
New cars that rolled off the production line in 2015 included the Bentley Bentayga, Infiniti Q30, Jaguar XE, Jaguar XF, Land Rover Discovery Sport, MINI Clubman, McLaren 570S, Vauxhall Astra.
Industry experts forecast that the UK will be making around 1.79 million cars in 2016 and 1.95 million cars in 2017, higher than the record of 1.92 million in 1972.