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Double-digit decline for UK car manufacturing

UK car production fell 13.3% in March, leading the car industry to repeat its calls for continued customs union membership.

Jaguar manufacturing facility

Cuts have been announced at Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull plant

Figures from the SMMT show a total of 147,471 cars rolled off UK production lines in March as both domestics and export demand fell. Output for the home market was down 17.7%, marking the eighth consecutive month of decline, with exports dropping 11.9% due to fluctuations in demand in some global markets.

For the first three months of the year, manufacturing was down 6.3% to 440,426 units. Exports made up almost 80% and although overseas demand fell 4.0% in Q1, UK manufacturing fell by a much higher 14.1%.

The figures come some six days after Nissan announced it was cutting hundreds of jobs at its Sunderland plant and a fortnight after Jaguar Land Rover said cuts would be made at its Solihull facility, in response to a downturn in diesel demand and economic uncertainty.

Announcing the latest manufacturing figures, the SMMT restated the need for communication from the Government on diesel policies going forwards as well as continued membership of the customs union.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Maintaining free and frictionless trade is an absolute priority – it has been fundamental to our past success and is key to our future growth.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 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. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.