SMMT calls for tariff free trade deal as it reveals hefty drop in UK car production

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The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) pleads for a free trade deal as it reveals that UK car production fell by 16.5% in November 2019. Anna Tobin reports

The latest figures from the SMMT show that UK car production was down 16.5% in November, with 107,753 units manufactured. A fall in consumer and business confidence, weak demand from overseas’ markets and model production changes all influenced the significant drop. While factory shutdowns around the time of the UK’s planned October exit from the EU to mitigate against any disruption arising from Brexit, were also a contributing factor.

The SMMT estimates that Brexit contingency measures taken by the car industry have now cost the sector more than £500 million.

“UK car production is export-led, so we look forward to working with the new Government to deliver an ambitious trade deal with the EU,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes. “To ensure our competitiveness at a time of dramatic technological change, that deal needs to be tariff-free and avoid barriers to trade, which, for automotive, means that our standards must be aligned. This can be achieved if Government and industry work in partnership to re-establish the UK as a great place to invest and ensure that automotive keeps delivering for Britain.”

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