UK car production plummets by almost HALF in one year in ‘perfect storm’ of events

Homegrown car production in Britain fell by 5.5 per cent in June, contributing to a massive decline in UK production over a year.

In Britain, production has declined by almost half (47.2 per cent) over the course of a year.

Over June, 128,799 cars rolled off production lines, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The huge decline in production is expected to be as a rust of the new tougher Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) emissions test being introduced.

The so-called ‘death of diesel’ is also expected to be a factor contributing to the decline in overall sales.

Overall, UK manufacturing has fallen by 3.3 per cent over the course of the first half of 2018 to 834,402 vehicles.

However, demand for British-built cars grew in a number of key markets, notably the US – the UK’s second largest exports destination after the EU – where exports rose by 1.5 per cent thanks to a raft of new, desirable models.

Demand also grew substantially in Japan (+77.3 per cent) and South Korea (+67.8 per cent), while China maintained its position as the UK’s third biggest customer, taking 6.4 per cent of exports.

The EU remains the UK’s biggest trading partner, accounting for 360,270 units – more than half of all cars produced for export (53.4 per cent).

More than 87 per cent of cars registered by British buyers over the first six months of the year came from overseas plants, with over two thirds (69.1 per cent) of those from EU countries.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “June’s results demonstrate the risks of judging automotive performance one month in isolation, with numerous and varied factors creating a perfect storm for home market output.

“Looking at the longer-term picture, the sector is performing as expected in the context of market conditions at home and abroad.

First half figures are a reminder of the exports-led nature of UK Automotive, the integrated EU supply chain and our mutual dependency on free and frictionless trade.

“The UK government’s latest Brexit proposals are a step in the right direction to safeguard future growth, jobs and consumer choice – not just in Britain but right across Europe.

“We now look to negotiators on both sides to recognise the needs of the whole European automotive industry which, combined, employs more than 12 million people.

“Any disruption risks undermining one of our most valuable shared economic assets.”


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