UK car production hits lowest level in nine years
Output from UK car factories fell 2.1% in January; down for a fifth month running and recording the lowest level of January car production in nine years.
Published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) – which is calling for supportive measures in the upcoming Budget to boost the British market – the data shows 118,314 units were produced in January, of which overseas orders accounted for 82.7%, amounting to a total of 87,870 – up 4.1%. In contrast, output for the domestic market fell sharply, down 23.9% and the result of continuing weak confidence.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Exports are the bedrock for UK car manufacturing so a rise in January exports is welcome following recent declining demand in overseas markets. These figures, however, still give great cause for concern, with another month of falling car production driven by a lack of confidence and corresponding weak demand in the UK.
“The upcoming Budget is an opportunity for the Government to provide supportive measures to stimulate the market, but the biggest boost would be the agreement of an ambitious free trade deal with Europe. This would end the ongoing uncertainty and help the UK to recover its hard-won reputation as a great place for automotive investment.”