UK car manufacturing output fell by 4% year-on-year in October, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Just 134,752 cars were produced – 5622 fewer than in the same month last year. This is the 16th month of the previous 17 in which production has fallen. There was a modest rise in August only because Brexit-related factory shutdowns earlier in the year meant some usual summer shutdowns were cancelled.
Production for the home market dropped by 10.7% in the past month, while exports came down 2.6%. The SMMT cites fragile consumer and business confidence at home and demand problems abroad as the cause of the reductions. Model changeovers, as with the Land Rover Discovery Sport, didn’t help the situation.
Car production for the year to date is down 14.4%. A total of 1,123,926 cars have been rolled out so far, 80.5% of which have been exported to destinations including the EU, US, China and Japan.
SMMT boss Mike Hawes 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.”