UK CAR manufacturing output fell by four per cent in October with 134,752 units rolling off production lines – 5,622 fewer models than in October last year.
Figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) mean that British car production has now dropped in 16 of the past 17 months, with August the exception because of ‘no-deal’ Brexit contingency shutdowns earlier in the year artificially boosting output that month.
Last month, production for the home market declined by 10.7 per cent as consumer and business confidence continued to wane, while overseas orders were down by 2.6 per cent as a result of soft demand in some key markets.
Model changeovers also played a part in the downturn, said the SMMT.
In the year to date, car production has declined by 14.4 per cent to 1,123,926 units, with the majority – 80.5 per cent – heading abroad to destinations around the world, including the EU, US, China and Japan.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘Yet another month of falling car production makes these extremely worrying times for the sector.
‘Our global competitiveness is under threat, and to safeguard it we need to work closely with the next government to ensure frictionless trade, free of tariffs, with regulatory alignment and continued access to talent in the future.
‘This sector is export-led, already shipping cars to more than 160 countries, and in a period of unprecedented change a close trading relationship with the EU and preferential trading with all these other markets will be essential to keep automotive in Britain.’