‘Serious concern’ as UK car production falls -18.2% in January

According to SMMT, In January, UK car production was down 18.2% as British car factories turned out 120,649 units. This is reflecting model changed and weaker demand in UK and key export markets.

Exports were down 21.4% to 93,781 units therefore, it was the latter that fell most.

Asian and European markets drove much of the decline as output destined for China was down 72.3% and the EU27 down 20%. Models played a big part of the decline. Manufacturing for the domestic market fell by 4.8%.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Another month of decline is a serious concern. The industry faces myriad challenges, from falling demand in key markets, to escalating global trade tensions and the need to stay at the forefront of future technology. But, the clear and present danger remains the threat of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, which is monopolising time and resources, undermining competitiveness. Every day a ‘no deal’ Brexit remains a possibility is another day automotive companies pay the price in additional and potentially pointless costs. ‘No deal’ must be taken off the table immediately and permanently.”

Nearly 1/3 of automotive companies responded to a recent SMMT survey saying they had postponed or cancelled UK investment decisions over Brexit. 1 in 5 companies have already lost business. 12.4% are relocating operations overseas and the same proportion reducing UK headcount.