November UK car production plummets
UK car manufacturing fell 16.5% in November, prompting the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) to renew calls for an ambitious trade deal with the EU.
Output last month fell to 107,753 units, with output for home and overseas markets down 26.6% and 14.2% respectively; the result of soft consumer and business confidence, weak demand in overseas markets and model production changes but also factory shutdowns. These were planned to mitigate against any disruption arising from the potential departure of the UK from the EU without a deal on 31 October and follow similar Brexit contingency measures in April when car production fell 44.5%.
UK car production has now fallen in 17 of the last 18 months. And for the year to date, volumes are down 14.5% to 1,231,679 units, with by far the majority (80.8%) heading abroad and most of these exports (54.7%) into the EU.
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.”