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WLTP testing impacts UK manufacturing volumes

UK car manufacturing fell for a third consecutive month in August as the race to get new cars tested for WLTP hit volumes.

Astra production line at Ellesmere Port

UK car production was down 12.9% in August

New figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show 89,254 units left production lines in August, down 12.9%. Production for the home market fell 38.8%, but exports remained relatively stable, down 3.8%.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said that the usual summer fluctuations had been exacerbated by the industry racing to recertify entire model ranges to meet the new WLTP testing standards in force on 1 September. Model changes and planned maintenance shutdowns also contributed to the downturn.

For the first eight months of the year, a total of 1,044,707 cars were built, down 5.2%. With eight in 10 models (81.3%) YtD built for overseas markets, Hawes continued to highlight the need for tariff-free access to European and other global markets.

“With exports, the majority to the EU, continuing to drive demand, it underscores the importance of a Brexit agreement to safeguard this trade; for our sector, ‘no deal’ is not an option,” he finished.

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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.