Dismal April for UK carmakers | Industry - Car News May 2019

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11:19 Friday 31 May 2019

UK car production has nosedived spectacularly, falling by almost half last month.

Compared to April 2018, last month saw 56,999 fewer cars produced in the UK, a drop of 44.5%.  April was the 11th consecutive month of decline, with manufacturing for both home and overseas markets experiencing a similar rate of slowdown and industry bodies blaming the Brexit impasse for the situation.

“Today’s figures are evidence of the vast cost and upheaval Brexit uncertainty has already wrought on UK automotive manufacturing businesses and workers”, said Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) who compiled the production statistics.

Many manufacturers bought forward planned production stoppages usually scheduled for the summer holidays in anticipation of the 29 March exit from the European Union, only for the deadline to be put back to the 31 October.  The knock on effect made April’s production pace even more sluggish, with just 70,971 units produced.  Along with already slowing demand in China and the US, as well as the domestic market, it bought about a perfect storm of unfavourable conditions for the UK car manufacturing industry.

Currently, overall car production in the UK has fallen by a fifth since the turn of the year, but the SMMT predict this could be corrected to a tenth by the end of the year if we leave the EU with a favourable deal and transition period.


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