Slump in UK car production

The number of cars built in the UK fell last month, new figures show.

Production was down by 16.5% in November compared with the same time a year ago, with 107,753 units manufactured, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Trends seen throughout the year, including soft consumer and business confidence, weak demand in overseas markets and model production changes, combined to hit output last month, the SMMT said.

An additional factor in the poor performance in November was factory shutdowns around Halloween, and planned closures to mitigate against any disruption arising from the potential for a no-deal Brexit on October 31.

Production for home and overseas markets fell, 26.6% and 14.2% respectively.

UK car production has now fallen in 17 of the last 18 months. In the year to date, volumes are down by 14.5% to 1,231,679 cars.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “UK car production is export-led, so we look forward to working with the new government to deliver an ambitious trade deal with the EU.

“To ensure our competitiveness at a time of dramatic technological change, that deal needs to be tariff free and avoid barriers to trade, which, for automotive, means that our standards must be aligned.

“This can be achieved if government and industry work in partnership to re-establish the UK as a great place to invest and ensure that automotive keeps delivering for Britain.”

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