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UK car production hit by domestic demand decline

UK car manufacturing output continued to fall in February with a double-digit decline in domestic demand.

Production for the home market fell by -17% in February.

Production for the home market fell by -17% in February.

The data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows UK car manufacturing fell 4.4% to 145,475 units.

Domestic demand was down for the seventh consecutive month, with output for the UK down -17.0%. Exports however remained steady, dipping -0.8%, with more than eight in 10 cars heading overseas.

Year-to-date output declined -2.3% to 292,956 units, while domestic demand fell -11.9% and exports were up 0.3% on 2017.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Another month of double-digit decline in production for the UK is of considerable concern, but we hope that the degree of certainty provided by last week’s Brexit transition agreement will help stimulate business and consumer confidence over the coming months. These figures also highlight the scale of our sector’s dependency on exports, so a final deal that keeps our frictionless trade links with our biggest market, the EU, after December 2020 is now a pressing priority.”

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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.