SMMT figures show UK car production driven down by Brexit uncertainty

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The latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that UK car manufacturing output fell -4% in October. Anna Tobin reports

During October 2019, the SMMT figures show that 134,752 new cars rolled off production lines, 5,622 fewer models than in October 2018. This means that British car production has now fallen in 16 of the last 17 months; it rose in August 2019 because No Deal Brexit contingency shutdowns earlier in the year artificially boosted output that month.

Local demand fell in October 2019, with production for the home market dropping -10.7%, as consumer and business confidence continued to wane. Oversea’s orders for the same period were down -2.6%.

For the year to date,  UK car production is down -14.4% to 1,123,926 units, with the majority, 80.5%, going to the EU, US, China and Japan. “Yet another month of falling car production makes these extremely worrying times for the sector,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

“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.”