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UK car production falls in August

UK car manufacturing fell 5.3% in August to 103,232 units, marking the fourth month of decline this year.

Nissan Qashqai production in Sunderland

Production fell for the fourth month this year.

Latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show production for the domestic market dropped 4.4% to 26,594 units, while output for overseas customers was down 5.6% to 76,638.

Year-to-date performance declined 1.9% to a total of 1,106,285 vehicles.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, commented: “It’s common to see fluctuations during the summer months, as output varies according to the timing and duration of holiday factory shutdowns. However, the continuation of the longer term downward trend in domestic demand is a concern for production across the UK so it is vital for the future health of this sector that the current uncertainty around Brexit is removed and consumer and business confidence restored.”

However,  car buying comparison website Motorway.co.uk said Brexit was “just a small detail in the bigger picture”.

The firm’s Alex Buttle commented: “The Brexit effect is weighing heavily on the shoulders of the car market. Throw into the mix stretched household finances and concerns over PCP and a potential car finance bubble, and we believe people are choosing to sit on their declining assets at a time of intense economic confusion.

“Also, used diesel cars haemorrhaging value will not be helping new diesel car sales. And with the choice of affordable new electric cars still limited, we believe many consumers are holding off on new vehicle purchases until 2018/2019.”

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For more of the latest industry news, click here.

Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 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.