Car production for UK market dropped 35% in July, new figures show

Motor industry 'undoubtedly feeling the effects of recent uncertainty in the domestic market', said SMMT boss 

Caitlin Morrison@citycait
Thursday 30 August 2018 08:04
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Production for export dropped by 4.2 per cent
Production for export dropped by 4.2 per cent

Car production fell 11 per cent in July and the number built for the UK market dropped by more than a third year on year, amid continued uncertainty around Brexit, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The SMMT reported that 121,051 units left vehicle production lines in July and said the significant drop was due to several factors, “including model changes, seasonal and operational adjustments and preparation for the introduction of the tough new emissions standards”.

Production for export fell 4.2 per cent, while the number of cars built for buyers in Britain plunged by 35 per cent.

This was partly due to the fact that July 2017 was a particularly strong month for car demand in Britain, and the launch of several new models boosted output by almost 10,000.

Production for the UK is down 16 per cent so far this year compared with the same period last year.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “While the industry is undoubtedly feeling the effects of recent uncertainty in the domestic market, drawing long-term conclusions from monthly snapshots requires a health warning.

“The bigger picture is complex, and month by month fluctuations are inevitable as manufacturers manage product cycles, operational changes and the delicate balance of supply and demand from market to market.

“To ensure future growth, we need political and economic clarity at home, and the continuation of beneficial trading arrangements with the EU and other key markets.”

The SMMT said the sector remains on track to meet expectations for 2018.

Earlier this year, CBI president Paul Drechsler said the UK’s motor industry faced extinction after Brexit.

His warning followed Jaguar Land Rover’s decision to move production of its Land Rover Discovery model from the UK to Slovakia. The carmaker previously announced plans to cut 1,000 UK jobs, due in part to the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit.

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