UK car manufacturing down four per cent in October

Production line
28 Nov, 2019 9:38am Tristan Shale-Hester

Manufacturing for both domestic and export markets falls; 134,752 units roll off production lines in total

Car manufacturing in the UK decreased 4.0 per cent in October, with a total of 134,752 units rolling off production lines across the country - 5,622 fewer than the 140,374 built in the same month last year.

The domestic market took the biggest hit, suffering a 10.7 per cent drop from 24,241 in October 2018 to 21,640 in October 2019. The export market was also down by 2.6 per cent, falling from 116,133 to 113,112.

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UK car production has now fallen in 16 of the last 17 months - the exception being August, which saw an artificial boost purely because manufacturers moved their annual shutdowns forward in anticipation of the UK’s departure from the EU, which ended up being delayed.

According to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the total number of cars produced in the UK in the year-to-date is 1,123,926 - 14.4 per cent less than the 1,312,304 that had been built by this point in 2018.

The decline has been blamed on soft demand in key global markets, as well as model changeovers. Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, commented: “Yet another month of falling car production makes these extremely worrying times for the sector.

“Our global competitiveness is under threat, and to safeguard it we need to work closely with the next government to ensure frictionless trade, free of tariffs, with regulatory alignment and continued access to talent in the future.

“This sector is export-led, already shipping cars to more than 160 countries, and in a period of unprecedented change a close trading relationship with the EU and preferential trading with all these other markets will be essential to keep automotive in Britain.”

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