New investment in the motor industry also fell by a third
According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) today, UK car production fell last year for the first time since 2009 while investment fell by a third owing to lower demand from domestic consumers and a fall in exports.
Production was down 3 percent at 1.67m vehicles, mainly due to a 10 per cent reduction in domestic demand, which was also impacted by a lack of government clarity over diesel levies.
Meanwhile, new investment in the UK motor industry fell by a third to £1.1bn, compared with £1.66bn in 2016.
“A drop of that magnitude is of concern and it bears out what we know anecdotally which is that people are waiting as long as they can for increased certainty to make those investments,” said SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes.
Hawes also said that output would remain “broadly the same” in 2018 as model changes continue and a long-cherished goal of beating an all-time high production of 1.92 million cars achieved in 1972 by 2020 was “hard to foresee us reaching.”
Automakers are hoping London and Brussels agree a deal which will allow Britain to maintain free and unfettered trade with its biggest car export market until at least the end of 2020.