Car manufacturing continues its dip

UK car manufacturing has fallen for the seventh consecutive month, according to figures released for February.

That month saw 145,475 new cars leave the production line – a 4.4 per cent decrease on the same timeframe in 2017. The decline has been attributed to a 17 per cent dip in demand from the domestic market.

International demand also fell in February, but not on such a severe scale. Foreign sales were down by 0.8 per cent, but the continued strength of this particular market meant that UK car exports made up over 80 per cent of the overall demand.

The specific figures were as follows:

  • Domestic units for February – 28,336
  • Export units for February – 117,139

The statistics were published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and also revealed that the decline in car manufacturing was part of a trend, which had been endemic in the industry for the past seven months.

The chief executive of SMMT, Mike Hawes, said: “Another month of double-digit decline in production for the UK is of considerable concern, but we hope that the degree of certainty provided by last week’s Brexit transition agreement will help stimulate business and consumer confidence over the coming months.

“These figures also highlight the scale of our sector’s dependency on exports, so a final deal that keeps our frictionless trade links with our biggest market, the EU, after December 2020 is now a pressing priority.”

The SMMT recent produced a report forecasting a continued decline in output, but predicting growth in production would pick up again in 2023.

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