UK car manufacturing falls for fifth consecutive month

by James Attwood, Autocar UK 29 Nov 2018

British car manufacturing output fell for a fifth consecutive month in October, which the Society of Motor Manufacturer and Traders (SMMT) says highlights the need to secure a Brexit deal that allows free and frictionless trade.

A total of 140,374 cars were produced in the UK in October, a year-on-year decline of 9.8 percent. Of those cars built, 24,246 were made for the UK market, a 12.1 percent year-on-year fall. The 128,040 cars built for export represented a 9.3 percent decline on October 2017.

In total 1,312,304 cars have been produced in the UK so far in 2018, a 6.9 percent decline on 2017 levels, when 1,409,981 were produced. Cars built for the UK market have fallen by 18 percent, from 298,284 to 244,603. The 1,067,701 cars produced for export – 81.4 percent of all cars built in the UK this year – represents a 4.0 percent decline.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes called the fifth consecutive month of decline “concerning”, adding: “While a number of factors have been at play, there is no doubt that business and consumer uncertainty is having a significant impact.

“With eight in 10 British-built cars destined for overseas markets, the majority to the EU, the sector’s dependent on exports cannot be downplayed. Europe is our largest trading partner and securing the right Brexit agreement which allows free and frictionless trade is vital for the future health of our industry.”

Hawes comments come days after he 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.

Also read: Investment key to keeping UK car industry workforce best in Europe

Vauxhall to cut hundreds of jobs at Ellesmere Port in 2019

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