Factory output down as demand for UK-made cars slumps

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Demand for UK-made cars has dropped by 11 per cent over the past year, resulting in a fall in factory output for the first time in 14 months.

The latest figures for car factories show that there is less demand for cars from Nissan, Toyota, Aston Martin, Bentley and other manufacturers that build vehicles in the UK.

Assembly-line output for the UK market dropped by 3,500 to 29,000 in October compared with the same month last year. That sent the total output from British car factories down by one per cent to 151,000 across the month, marking the first time the UK's monthly car production had dropped since summer last year.

Both Nissan and Toyota have seen UK sales dip this year by three per cent and two per cent respectively. Both Japanese manufacturers have major car production facilities in the north of England. Meanwhile, luxury carmaker Aston Martin has seen a drop of 12 per cent year-on-year.

Stuart Apperley, head of UK automotive financing at Lloyds Bank, said: "These numbers don't come as a huge surprise. What will be interesting is to see if this continued fall in domestic demand becomes a trend, in which case the UK could become very reliant on the strength of its export markets."

Mike Hawes, chief executive at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: "We are still on track for a record number of exports. Given this dependence on global trade, it is crucial that British-built cars remain attractive to international buyers and exports are not subject to additional tariffs, costs and other barriers to successful trade."