Predictions that a record-breaking two million cars would be built in the UK by 2020 are unlikely to be realised in the wake of falling consumer confidence

Car manufacturers in the UK are unlikely to hit the record-breaking goal of making two million cars a year by 2020 that was previously predicted, as a result of softening demand for new cars in the UK and a slowing of investment in UK car manufacturing facilities in the wake of uncertainty around Britain’s future role in the European Union (EU).

As a result, the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) has renewed its calls for an interim trade deal in line with the one in place today, to be agreed while Brexit negotiations are carried out, in order to provide stability for ongoing investment and to provide certainty to the UK supply chain.

SMMT CEO Mike Hawes said: “World-class engineering, productivity, strong government collaboration and massive investment in the past few years have helped UK automotive become a global success story. At the heart of this has been the free and frictionless trade we've enjoyed with the EU – by far our biggest customer and supplier.

“But Brexit uncertainty is not helping investment and growth is stalling. The Government has been in ‘listening’ mode, but now it must put on the table the concrete plans that will assure the future competitiveness of the sector. Investors need certainty, so at the very least the UK must seek an interim deal that maintains single market and customs union membership until we have in place the complex new agreement sought with the EU."

The current record for cars produced in a single year is 1.92 million, set in 1972. In 2016, a total of 1,722,698 cars were made in the UK. A report previously commissioned by the SMMT had predicted the two million mark would be breached in 2020, so long as economic and market conditions remained stable. New estimates lower that figure to between 1.8 and 1.9m.

Hawes highlighted the slowing pace of investment in UK car plants, saying that an average of £2.5 billion a year was being invested pre-2016, falling to £1.66bn last year and standing at just £322m so far this year. However, he conceded that some of this is cyclical, and a result of the heavy investment in previous years.

Car production in the UK fell by 13.7% year-on-year in June, with 136,901 cars rolling off production lines. That was the third consecutive month of decline, adding up to a 2.9% year-to-date dip in output year-on-year to June. The performance is, however, still the second highest for 12 years.

In 2017, overseas demand for British-built cars has fallen by just 0.9%, with 683,826 cars exported. The proportion of UK-built cars exported now stands at 78.9% – the highest level for five years. However, demand for domestically built cars in the UK fell by 9.5% year-on-year to 182,830 units.

Hawes confirmed that the second half of 2017 was looking more positive. “There are several new models about to be launched which should bolster demand,” he said. “Several of these are new premium cars, and the UK continues to be the world’s biggest producer of premium cars after Germany.”

Top 10 British-built best-sellers globally – 2017 to end of June

1 Nissan Qashqai

2 Mini hatchback

3 Vauxhall Astra

4 Honda Civic

5 Toyota Auris

6 Land Rover Discovery Sport

7 Range Rover Sport

8 Nissan Juke

9 Range Rover Evoque

10 Jaguar F-Pace

Top 10 regional export destinations – 2017 to end of June

1 EU28 373,650 (-7.9% year-on-year)

2 USA 106,694 (+37.6%)

3 Germany 58,763 (-2.5%)

4 Italy 51,196 (-3.2%)

5 China 47,830 (-6.4%)

6 France 46,061 (-7.2%)

7 Belgium 34,422 (-35.6%)

8 Spain 23,602 (-10%)

9 Australia 18,990 (8.4%)

10 Turkey 15,970 (-26.4%)

 

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Comments
15

27 July 2017

'in the wake of uncertainty around Britain’s future role in the European Union (EU).'

There isn't any uncertainty at all. The UK will not have any role in the EU because the UK is leaving the EU.

Lord Heseltine needs to get used to it.

 

27 July 2017

Mike Hawes is trying to deny us democracy. 17.4 million people voted to leave the European Union.

Leaving the EU means leaving the single market and the EU customs union.

People knew what they were voting for when they voted to leave the EU.

Car manufacturers should make plans based on World Trade Organisation rules and tariffs as a worst case scenario.

There shouldn't be any transitional deal of any kind. People expect the UK to leave the EU completely by March 2019.

The car manufacturers should think very carefully before they continue to lobby for a anti-democratic transitional deal.

BREXIT voters are already boycotting pro-EU/anti-BREXIT companies like Unilever and Richard Branson's companies & investments. It would be a pity if car manufacturers forced BREXIT voters to boycott their products and services as well.

27 July 2017

Top 10 British-built best-sellers globally – 2017 to end of June1 Nissan Qashqai  - profits go to Japan2 Mini hatchback - profits go to Germany3 Vauxhall Astra - profits go to France4 Honda Civic - profits go to Japan5 Toyota Auris - profits go to Japan6 Land Rover Discovery Sport - profits go to India7 Range Rover Sport - profits go to India8 Nissan Juke- profits go to Japan9 Range Rover Evoque - profits go to India10 Jaguar F-Pace - profits go to IndiaAll of those companies use British workers but the UK doesn't get the full financial benefits of the efforts of the workers.These multinational vampire companies are feasting on the hard work of the British people.They don't care about the UK or British democracy (that is why they are so desperate to stop the UK leaving the EU). They are in the UK to exploit skilled British workers. Look at how BMW tried to steal the Mini worker pensions.They try to stop British democracy for their own financial reasons. They move their factories abroad as soon as they find somewhere cheaper.The UK would be better off without these parasitic multinational companies.

27 July 2017

What we need is a British investor who will take over all these companies. The last time any large motor manufacturer eg. British Leyland was in government ownership it was due to lack of private investment. The government sold it to British Aerospace who got Honda to keep it alive before it went into the hands of BMW. It would be wonderful if post brexit we could actually have an independent British car manufacturer in the UK but looking at our track record under British ownership it would probably be disastrous. The multi nationals may be parasites but they have kept food on the table for ex shipbuilders at Japanese Nissan and the Tata Indians are doing are far better job of investing that we Brits ever did. 

27 July 2017

Top 10 British-built best-sellers globally – 2017 to end of June:1 Nissan Qashqai  - profits go to Japan2 Mini hatchback - profits go to Germany3 Vauxhall Astra - profits go to France4 Honda Civic - profits go to Japan5 Toyota Auris - profits go to Japan6 Land Rover Discovery Sport - profits go to India7 Range Rover Sport - profits go to India8 Nissan Juke- profits go to Japan9 Range Rover Evoque - profits go to India10 Jaguar F-Pace - profits go to IndiaAll of those companies use British workers but the UK doesn't get the full financial benefits of the efforts of the workers.These multinational vampire companies are feasting on the hard work of the British people.They don't care about the UK or British democracy (that is why they are so desperate to stop the UK leaving the EU). They are in the UK to exploit skilled British workers. Look at how BMW tried to steal the previously agreed pensions of the Mini workers.They try to stop British democracy for their own financial reasons. They move their factories abroad as soon as they find somewhere cheaper.The UK would be better off without these parasitic multinational companies.

27 July 2017

Top 10 British-built best-sellers globally – 2017 to end of June:

  • 1 Nissan Qashqai  - profits go to Japan
  • 2 Mini hatchback - profits go to Germany
  • 3 Vauxhall Astra - profits go to France
  • 4 Honda Civic - profits go to Japan
  • 5 Toyota Auris - profits go to Japan
  • 6 Land Rover Discovery Sport - profits go to India
  • 7 Range Rover Sport - profits go to India
  • 8 Nissan Juke- profits go to Japan
  • 9 Range Rover Evoque - profits go to India
  • 10 Jaguar F-Pace - profits go to India

All of those companies use British workers but the UK doesn't get the full financial benefits of the efforts of the workers.These multinational vampire companies are feasting on the hard work of the British people.They don't care about the UK or British democracy (that is why they are so desperate to stop the UK leaving the EU). They are in the UK to exploit skilled British workers. Look at how BMW tried to steal the previously agreed pensions of the Mini workers.They try to stop British democracy for their own financial reasons. They move their factories abroad as soon as they find somewhere cheaper.The UK would be better off without these parasitic multinational companies.

27 July 2017

June 2016 = 510,000 June 2017 = 463,333 units. Just shows there's lies, statistics and Pro-EU stats

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

27 July 2017

Jan - SMMT announce highest UK production for 17 years.

April - UK car tax changes which were announced last year come in to effect. Previous £0/£20/£30 annual fees now become £140 with £160 in the first year.

July - SMMT announce fall in UK production.

Is the SMMT's Mr Hawes the only person in Britain that didn't see that coming?

And as for Brexit - given the dip in exchange rates, I'd have thought the Brexit vote favoured UK exports? My guess is Mr Hawes is yet another one of those pro-EU scaremongerers that simply won't admit the Brexit vote has had little or no effect on our car industry? If I had to ask him a question it would be how did the Brexit vote affect BMW's decision to build Mini EV in the UK? 

27 July 2017

I saw that coming when those idiots Osborne and Cameron increased the road tax epecially for over £40k cars,I have held back and not ordered  arepacement RRSport i am just bloody minded and do not like being conned,so that has lost at least £12k in tax for the treasurey.Ths same goe sfor ramp up of stamp duty and 3% extra for buy to let,sales have stalled 50% down, so less renovation,carpets,paint and curtains etc.if I were Hammond I would have reversed these -ucking ridiclad half cocked  policies.If you want a v8 mustang that gets 15mpg in the real world you gain it is now only £140 per year so may look into one ,talk about if you can't beat them join them.

just like all the talk about ev's ,lpg is probably less polluting less co2 and soot,readily available and surplus now,I think to get all thes ebattery packs using rare minerals and metals would be very polluting in the long run.Then where do you get the lecky from ,China will be dirty polluting coal generation.

27 July 2017

I have found very few people who voted leave who had any idea what the voted for, lots of trotting out of lies and misinformation from decades of tabloid campaigns over the years. 

The impact of Brexit is showing in investment at the moment, but will really hit hard once the dreadful deal that is being done has been signed. We will see an awful lot of people losing jobs and some big factory closures. 

Falling back on WTO rules is often cited as something of a safety net, but the cost of those tariffs will make UK-built cars uncompetitive in Europe? How is that something to fall back on? The customs chaos and lack of ease of moving brits abroad to work on projects for multi-national firms will also cause additional costs and loss of competitiveness. 

I spoke to someone who works in negotiating with government on matters relating to his company. His description and that of his colleague of the sitaution on Brexit talks was terrifying, they were convinced it was going to cost their company a huge amount of money and result in production being moved abroad. 

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