UK car manufacturing drops by a fifth in November

by Lawrence Allan, Autocar UK 21 Dec 2018

Output from Britain's car factories fell by 19.6 percent in November compared with the same period last year, with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) describing the fall as "very concerning".

A total of 129,030 cars were manufactured across the month, down from over 160,000 in November 2017. It marks the fifth consecutive month that car production has fallen, while exports dropped by an even steeper 22.8%, down to 105,000 cars.  Year-to-date the industry has experienced an 8.2 percent decline on last year's output, down to 1,441,334 cars produced.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, says output has been "seriously impacted by falling business and consumer confidence in the UK allied to weakening export markets". A substantial 16.8 percent fewer cars manufactured here were sold in the UK. 

car output in the UK in November 2018

Hawes also reiterated his call for a deal with the European Union prior to the UK's exit, saying "the automotive industry needs certainty and a 'no-deal' Brexit must be ruled out".

"Thousands of jobs in British car factories and supply chains depend on free and frictionless trade with the EU - if the country falls off a cliff-edge next March the consequences would be devastating," Hawes continued.

Previously, Hawes said the car industry welcomed the Brexit Agreement that Prime Minister Theresa May had agreed with the EU, but called for further work to ensure a long-term free trade agreement. The Mini plant in Oxford and the Rolls-Royce plant in Goodwood are bringing forward their scheduled shutdowns to coincide with 29 March - the day the UK leaves the EU - with Mini workers downing tools for several weeks. 

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