UK car production plunges amid fall in domestic demand

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The number of cars made in the UK last month fell by 4.6 per cent compared with a year earlier amid a sharp decline in domestic demand.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), around 161,500 vehicles were made in the UK factories in November. But output for the domestic market fell by 28.1 per cent due to “Brexit uncertainty” and “confusion over diesel taxation”.

However, production for export rose by 1.3 per cent.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Brexit uncertainty, coupled with confusion over diesel taxation and air quality plans, continues to impact domestic demand for new cars and, with it, production output.”

He added that it was good to see exports grow last month, but “this only reinforces how overseas demand remains the driving force for UK car manufacturing.Clarity on the nature of our future overseas trading relationships, including details on transition arrangements with the EU, is vital for future growth and success.”

The SMMT figures also showed that of the 161,490 cars produced last month, 24,276 were for the UK market, while 137,214 were shipped overseas. Exports reached their highest proportion of output so far this year at 85 per cent.

However, the SMMT said production for the home market “continued to falter” and fell for the fourth month in a row.



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