SMMT again warns of no-deal Brexit risks after planned shutdowns lead to sharp decline in manufacturing

A number of factory shutdowns timed to coincide with the originally scheduled date of Britain's departure from the European Union led to a dramatic 44.5% year-on-year slump in UK car manufacturing in April.

A total of 70,971 cars were built in the UK in April, down 56,999 on the 127,970 produced in the same month of 2018, according to data produced by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). It was the 11th straight month in which manufacturing output declined.

While UK manufacturing has been substantially down in 2019 – with a 22.4% year-on-year decline so far – the April figures were heightened by several car firms, including Jaguar Land Rover, Honda, BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce, bringing forward production stoppages usually planned for the summer to guard against any delays caused by Britain leaving the European Union, which had been due to take place on 29 March. 

Brexit was subsequently delayed, and is now scheduled to take place on 31 October. It is highly unlikely firms will be able to suspend production again following this date, and SMMT president Mike Hawes again called on politicians to rule out a ‘no deal’ Brexit to minimise further damage to the industry.

Hawes said the figures were “evidence of the vast cost and upheaval Brexit uncertainty has already wrought on UK automotive manufacturing businesses and workers”.

He added: “Prolonged instability has done untold damage, with the fear of ‘no deal’ holding back progress, causing investment to stall, jobs to be lost and undermining our global reputation.

“This is why ‘no deal’ must be taken off the table immediately and permanently, so industry can get back to the business of delivering for the economy and keeping the UK at the forefront of the global technology race.”

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Production figures in April were also hit by a decline in demand in both the UK and overseas, including the continuing struggles within the Chinese and EU markets.

The SMMT estimates that, if the UK leaves the EU with a "favourable deal and substantial transition period", the decline in production will ease by the end of the year – although in this best-case scenario year-on-year output would still be around 10.5% down on 2018.

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Comments
12

30 May 2019

bringing forward production stoppages usually planned for the summer

What affect did these stoppages really make to car production? It wasn't an additional stoppage, all they did was change the date of the stoppages they have every year.

I look forward to Autocar, Mike Hawes etc congratulating Brexit for increasing car production in those months factories normally shut down production.

They must think we're stupid.

30 May 2019

Well, I suppose we could say it is propaganda, or we could listen to the constant message from the UK car industry about the issues they have with Brexit. Surley they would know as they run these companies? 

30 May 2019
DaveAussie wrote:

Well, I suppose we could say it is propaganda, or we could listen to the constant message from the UK car industry about the issues they have with Brexit. Surley they would know as they run these companies? 

Car production always slows down when production lines stop for maintenance work in June or July, but production will continue throughout this June or July. Yes Brexit will have had an effect elsewhere, but to cite it as a cause for factories stopping production - total crap / fake news and no, I don't think they know what they're talking about. These very same companies also produce cars outside the EU, but you'd be excused for thinking the EU is the Holy Grail.

It's no different to Boris and his band of merry men suggesting £350 million would go to NHS rather than Brussels.

People should use their brains rather than listen to the propaganda we're fed (from all sides of the Brexit argument). But of course we don't have brains, anyone on the opposite side of an arguement will be accused of not engaging their brain and being easily led.

 

30 May 2019

"They must think we're stupid" Well yes, we do.

I'm only responsible for what I say, not what you understand...

30 May 2019
Black Dog wrote:

"They must think we're stupid" Well yes, we do.

That basically sums it up. The country of Britain is populated with idiots who don't have a clue about anything, never mind the complexities of politics. They can't be trusted to vote.

JMax

30 May 2019

Interesting JLR and BMW have posted increase in sales year on year in the UK and Europe and its the decline in the Chinese market that has been blamed and not Brexit, I think that the car manufacteurs are using the Brexit excuse as a way in showing their frustrations in why it's not been sorted out out yet and the whole debarkle of our MP's.

30 May 2019

So, presumably, we're going to see a huge increase in production in the summer when these companies don't close down as usual?

30 May 2019

This isnt about whether the outcome of Brexit is a good thing or a bad thing. It's about how long it's taking to deliver and the disruption it causes. So far the government have spend 100 million pounds on advisors, 50 million on Ferries they don't need and god knows what else. Meanwhile everyone else has to plan for something which they have no idea when it will be delivered or what it will look like

Many people would say that this alone is cause enough to abandon Brexit as unworkable and as a waste of time and energy that could be spent more effectively on things like improving our road or nhs....

30 May 2019
TStag wrote:

Many people would say that this alone is cause enough to abandon Brexit as unworkable and as a waste of time and energy that could be spent more effectively on things like improving our road or nhs....

And how much money have we sent the EU in that time at a net loss of over 153 million a week? They're BBC figures released on Tuesday. No deal Brexit - bring it on.

30 May 2019
Straff wrote:

TStag wrote:

Many people would say that this alone is cause enough to abandon Brexit as unworkable and as a waste of time and energy that could be spent more effectively on things like improving our road or nhs....

And how much money have we sent the EU in that time at a net loss of over 153 million a week? They're BBC figures released on Tuesday. No deal Brexit - bring it on.

 

And what will the weekly number be in lost sales to the EU under WTO terms? Of course you can say not much I can say a lot. Then we can argue which economists are right the 3 on the Brexit side or the thousands on the Remain side and on and on it goes. 

Frankly I like many people have lost patience with this. So if you can get a WTO Brexit through parliament great please get on with it and if this all backfires then we can start our application to rejoin the EU. If you can't get this done please get real and put it back to the people. No deal vs Remain.

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