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2017 car production forecasts revised as domestic demand falls

The UK car production forecast for 2017 has been revised downwards as domestic demand continues to fall, leading to repeated industry calls for a clear roadmap for Brexit.

Nissan Qashqai production in Sunderland

UK car production rose 3.5% in October but domestic demand fell.

Latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show UK new car production rose 3.5% in October, with exports up 5% but domestic demand down 2.9%, marking the ninth consecutive month of decline.

For the year-to-date, overall output is down 1.6% with exports broadly stable with a 0.1% fall and domestic demand down 6.8%.

The latest independent production forecast out today has revised the expected UK output for 2017 down to 1.73 million, lower than previous SMMT expectations of around 1.8 million.

The SMMT said the revision is due in part to the decline in domestic demand, but also because of lower than expected production levels of certain models as some approach the end of their lifecycles.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The latest independent UK forecast report is worrying news for the sector, predicting annual output which is, at best, static compared with last year. The industry needs stability and a clear roadmap for Brexit if we are to encourage investment and arrest the decline in both the market and business confidence.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.