Currently reading: UK car output down as domestic demand plummets by 28%
Production takes another hit from the home market in November while exports grow by 1.3%

UK car production was dealt its biggest blow of the year in November as domestic demand plummeted by 28.1%.

This ensured a fall in output of 4.6%, or a drop of 7757 units, to 161,490 cars compared with the same month in 2016.

November was the fourth consecutive month of decline in UK demand. In contrast, global demand remained defiant and actually grew to 137,214 units in November. However, this 1.3% improvement on November 2016 wasn’t enough to offset the UK's overall decline in output in the period.

Brexit uncertainty, coupled with confusion over diesel taxation and air quality plans, continues to impact domestic demand for new cars and, with it, production output,” explained Society of Motor Manufacturer and Traders CEO Mike Hawes.

Top 10 best-selling cars in Britain

“Whilst it is good to see exports grow in November, this only reinforces how overseas demand remains the driving force for UK car manufacturing. Clarity on the nature of our future overseas trading relationships, including details on transition arrangements with the EU, is vital for future growth and success.”

New legislation announced with the autumn budget will see drivers of new diesel vehicles hit with higher taxes. SMMT president Tony Walker recently said last month's 30.6% fall in demand for diesel vehicles is disrupting “the new car market” and therefore “hampering investment in the electric, emission-free vehicles of tomorrow”.

In October, domestic demand fell by 2.9%. Predictions for Britain’s 2017 car production output were then downgraded by 700,000 units to 1.73 million.

In January-November, British output totalled 1,577,0422 cars, a 2% fall on the same period in 2016. Again, this trend is driven by tumbling demand from the home market, which is 9% short on the same period last year, while exports remained consistent.

A total of 1,254,491 UK-built cars have been sent abroad, marking a 355-unit improvement on the first 11 months of 2016.

More content:

Top 10 best-selling cars in Europe

Used car market remains buoyant despite new cars sales slump

Join the debate

Add a comment…
The Apprentice 22 December 2017

another factor is one of the

another factor is one of the biggest buyers, fleets have been holding off replacing cars and extending current leases whilst the HMRC changes to company car tax settled, not keen to tie its drivers to long deals whilst uncertain, my company put a lengthy hold on all new cars. The HMRC is now comparing basic rate taxed cash takers with 'virtual company cars' to see which would have got them the most tax income and hitting the driver for the higher, if the driver had a choice. Many companies have had to rewrite their policies.

BigMitch 21 December 2017

So we've had  a huge tax

So we've had  a huge tax increase on an ICE that took half the market and sales are suddenly down WOW!! This is EARTH SHATTERING NEWS!!!!!!!! Imagine that????? But no, it must be Brexit. LMAO. These ftards will never stop moaning. Tough shit, it's happening. The sooner you accept it, the better off you'll be.

Spanner 21 December 2017


You gotta love em. The SMMT that is. Wallowing in bad news. 

Stupid taxation (let’s tax the bits off the cleanest diesels and leave the old stink pots on the road - genius) , poor value cars now. I mean it’s easy to go over £40k in buying a car for something not that special. 

My disco is up for renewal, but I am reluctant because of taxation, bonkers depreciation on new cars, the mad expense and crap deals.

looking at average deals. How is it right to charge 4.9 percent on new cars and 10% on s/h cars when base rates are more than 4pc or 9% respectively  lower than this? It is a semi secured loan, so lower risk.

so I will just buy the disco out of the contract and keep it.

I doubt I am on my own in this.

typos1 21 December 2017

Why dont you just buy a used

Why dont you just buy a used one thats newer than your current one ? Dunno why anyone would buy new, its just a waste of money, total madness, its just throwing money away.

Spanner 21 December 2017

I think I am. agreeing with you

yes, checked, apparently I am. 

289 21 December 2017

@ Spanner

...totally agree.....SMMT love to spew out negativity.

This is such a non-story...the market usually cools off post September with a small spike in January and the bigger spike following in March.

Last year there was a small increase which is not normal when viewed over a larger number of years - and frankly probably fake due to Pre-reg etc.

Fleet buyers have backed off whilst they understand the ramifications of Diesel purchases, but private buyers seem to have an endless thirst for PCP's and are still buying....I could name 15 or more friends who have been tempted by this despite their existing car still only being 3 or 4 years old and lowish mileage.

I am afraid this is Hawes smoke and mirrors  'lets bend this into a anti-Brexit' subversion really is time he understood Brexit is happening and got with the programme, putting his exertions into looking for potential positives.