Currently reading: UK car production has worst September for 25 years
Latest SMMT figures show a 5.0% drop in production year on year as just 114,732 cars were turned out by UK factories

Car production in the UK during September dropped to its lowest level in 25 years, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Just 114,732 cars were turned out by UK factories last month, some 6000 (5.0%) less than in September 2019, as car firms continue to suffer the effects of Brexit-related uncertainty and the coronavirus pandemic.

SMMT boss Mike Hawes said: “These figures are yet more grim reading for UK Automotive as coronavirus continues to wreak havoc both at home and in key overseas markets. With production already strained, the additional blow of [a ‘no deal’ Brexit] would be devastating for the sector, its workers and their families.”

The biggest impact has been felt in exports, which dropped 9.7% in the month. Just 87,533 models were bound for export, accounting for more than three-quarters of UK car production.

Exports to the US were hit particularly badly, dropping by 30.0%, while exports to China and the EU also declined, but by a smaller margin, falling by 1.2% and 3.3% respectively.

Although the numbers of cars produced for the UK market rose by 14.5%, or 3440 vehicles, this was not enough to make a dent in the overall figures. Nor was a 37% year-on-year increase in the production of battery-electric vehicles.

The latest figures mean that UK car production has dropped 35.9% behind 2019 levels for the year to date, with just 632,824 vehicles built.

The latest independent outlook predicts that factories will make fewer than 885,000 cars in 2020. If that turns out to be the case, it would be the first time the UK has failed to produce at least one million cars a year since 2009.


UK car production output lowest since 2010 

Car industry body SMMT launches job-saving scheme 

UK car manufacturing falls 44% in August as industry losses reach £9.5bn

Join the debate

Add a comment…
gavsmit 29 October 2020

Elephant in the room

Ridiculously high pricing that far exceeds inflation many times over might have something to do with the fall of car sales - for all cars manufactured everywhere.



Peter Cavellini 29 October 2020

And the next?

gavsmit wrote:

Ridiculously high pricing that far exceeds inflation many times over might have something to do with the fall of car sales - for all cars manufactured everywhere.



Reap what you sow, next year car might be cheaper?

xxxx 29 October 2020

pretty good actually

Down just 5% in the first ever covid sept, could have been alot worse

si73 29 October 2020

xxxx wrote:

xxxx wrote:

Down just 5% in the first ever covid sept, could have been alot worse


It really could have been a lot worse, there are no metrics to compare like for like, we've never been in this situation before, and like Scotty5 said in the first comment, no comparison is made with rest of world production. To say it's the worst in 25 years is almost meaningless.

scotty5 29 October 2020

Ignorance is no excuse.

Only yesterday JLR announces profits with no comment from Mike Hawes. But when it comes to a potential no deal Brexit ( which is still being negotiated by the way ), they wheel out Hawes and SMMT for comment. The bias from those who lost the vote is incredible.

Our production is down, we're not selling cars blah, blah, blah. Why is there never a report into the French car industry? Why no report on the German car industry? Why no report on the North American car industry?

Statistics are only good when you compare them like-4-like otherwise you can make stats look like anything you want them to look like, and that's exactly what the remoaners have consistantly done for the past 4 years. Is the UK downturn in production over the past year any different to the rest of the world?

It's like those fools who complain about bars closing and curfews and whatever else government impose to fight Corona-19, the moaners think these measures are only being imposed by the UK government and forget the same measures are happening all around the globe. 

Ignorance is no excuse but no doubt the rest of the remoaners will be lining up and quoting the SMMT and Hawes as evidence that the UK is somehow unique. Only those with an IQ in single digits can see those particualr remoaners are just bad loosers.

Strawman_John 29 October 2020

You are correct ignorance is no excuse.

You are correct there are many issues impacting car production, more than just Brexit, COVID, the enviroment, and disruptions. But let us also admit that Brexit is a shot in the foot and an act of economic stupidity by the UK. Sometimes the people who are wrong win, and it is time to acknowledge that basic fact. Even the Telegraph, a long time supporter of Brexit  published an article showing how in the COVID world Brexit makes things worse for the UK. In a difficult time Brexit makes things even more difficult. Lets just accept that and move on. We mad a bad choice, man up and accept it, stop being such a snowflake.