UK car production down 18.2% in October
October UK car production fell 18.2%, prompting the automotive sector to renew its calls for an urgent Brexit agreement.
The new figures issued from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show some 24,490 fewer cars were made last month compared to October 2019, with the impact of coronavirus and fresh lockdowns at home and overseas subduing demand in many key markets.
October’s decline was driven largely by falling exports, particularly to the EU and US, down 19.1% overall and equivalent to a loss of 21,569 vehicles.
Production for the domestic market also fell, by 13.6% to 18,629 units, with 2,921 fewer cars made for buyers in the UK than a year earlier.
Year-to-date production is now down 33.8% since January to 743,003 units – a year on year shortfall of 379,308 units worth some £10.4bn.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “These figures are yet more bad news for an industry battered by Covid, Brexit and, now, the unprecedented challenge of a complete shift to electrified vehicles in under a decade. While the sector has demonstrated its resilience, we need the right conditions to remain competitive both as a manufacturing nation and a progressive market.”
Commenting on this week’s Spending Review, which recognised the need to invest in a green industrial revolution, Hawes added: “This must be at globally competitive levels and equal to the scale of ambition to keep this sector match fit.”
He finished: “Above all, we must have a Brexit deal, one with zero tariffs, zero quotas and rules of origin that benefit existing products and the next generation of zero-emission cars, as well as a phase in period that allows this transition to be ‘made in Britain’.”