U.K. engine manufacturing bounces from an Easter dip to rise 5.5% in May to 230,606 units.

And with an eye on the continuing concerns about the effect of the U.K.’s increasingly chaotic departure from the European Union, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders notes production for export rose 7.7% to 129,916 units.

Domestic demand climbed 2.7% to 100,600 units, helping the year-to-date result improve 4.9% to 1,172,934.

With five months of the year completed, the domestic build was up 3.4% at 503,068 units and export production was ahead 6.0% at 669,855. It’s the first time output for the home market has topped half a million units by June.

SMMT CEO Mike Hawes says the continued long-term growth of U.K. engine manufacturing is a result of billions of pounds of investment into new technology and plants.

“Given the export-led nature of this vital sector, it is essential we maintain the free and frictionless trade we currently enjoy with key markets to stay competitive and attract the investment that will be critical to future growth,” Hawes says in a statement.

Despite the increased engine build, SMMT reports new-car production fell 9.7% year-on-year in May to 136,119 units.

Production for the home market fell 12.8% during the month to 26,528 units, while export orders dropped 9.0% to 109,591.

After five months, U.K. output was down 1.29% at 729,755 units, with the home market off 8.1% at 153,199 and the export build up 0.8% at 576,566.

Hawes says after a record start to the year, U.K. car production has slowed as production lines gear up for a range of new models. “Global demand is strong and exports remain the driving force for British car production volumes in the U.K.,” he says.

Almost 80% of all cars made in Britain are exported, Hawes says, with more than half going to Europe.

“Maintaining our current open trade links with Europe, our biggest market, and further developing global markets is vital for this sector,” he says.