UK car production drops 10.6% in July 2019, low exports blamed

by Autocar UK 29 Aug 2019


108,239 units were produced over the month, a decline of 10.6 percent compared with the same period last year. Exports fell a significant 14.6 percent, too, although cars leaving the UK once built still made up over 80 percent of total production. 

The announcement of the figures marks fourteen consecutive months of manufacturing decline in Britain. The decline in exports in 2019 is the most contributory factor, with oversees shipment down a fifth since January. A total of just under 775,000 cars have been built in the UK to date - a fall of 18.9 percent year-on-year. 

The ongoing drop in demand from markets in the European Union and Asia - in particular China, the world’s largest new car market - are cited as factors for the continued decline by the SMMT. But that doesn’t mean the local uncertainty from an increasing chance of a no-deal Brexit isn’t causing further headwinds. 

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said, “Another month of decline for UK car manufacturing is a serious concern. The sector is overwhelmingly reliant on exports and the global headwinds are strong, with escalating trade tensions, softening demand and significant technological change."

He adds, "With the UK market also weak, the importance of maintaining the UK’s global competitiveness has never been more important so we need a Brexit deal – and quickly – to unlock investment and safeguard the long term future of a sector which has recently been such an international success story.”

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