British car production fell by a substantial -19.6% in November, with 129,030 units manufactured, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). In a continuation of recent trends, weaker demand in the UK and in key European and Asian export markets was exacerbated by the ongoing impact of new regulation alongside planned model and technology changes.
While home production fell by -1.9% in the month, exports experienced a steeper -22.8% drop – falling for the fifth month in a row. Just over 105,000 cars were exported to global markets in November, still representing some eight in every 10 cars leaving British factories. In the year to date, more than 1.4 million cars have been built in the UK overall, an -8.2% year on year decline, with export volumes down 75,085 units and output for the domestic market down 54,143.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “It’s very concerning to see demand for UK built cars decline in November, with output seriously impacted by falling business and consumer confidence in the UK allied to weakening export markets. With fewer than 100 days until the UK leaves the European Union, the automotive industry needs certainty and a ‘no-deal’ Brexit must be ruled out. Thousands of jobs in British car factories and supply chains depend on free and frictionless trade with the EU – if the country falls off a cliff-edge next March the consequences would be devastating.”