UK automotive industry update: 4% fall in car manufacturing

British car manufacturing output fell 4% in October, falling over 5000 year-on-year to 134,752 models, the latest industry figures show. 

British car manufacturing output fell 4% in October, falling over 5000 year-on-year to 134,752 models, the latest industry figures show.

Car production has now fallen in 16 of the latest 17 months, with August the outlier due to the no-deal Brexit preparations earlier in the year boosting output that month.

This is according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Production for the domestic market declined 10.7% as consumer and business confidence continued to wane, while overseas orders were down 2.6%, a result of soft demand in some key markets.

Model changeovers also played a part in the downturn, while in the year to date car production is down 14.4% to 1,123,926 units. The majority of these (80.5%) have headed abroad to destinations around the world. These include the EU, US, China and Japan.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Yet another month of falling car production makes these extremely worrying times for the sector. Our global competitiveness is under threat, and to safeguard it we need to work closely with the next government to ensure frictionless trade, free of tariffs, with regulatory alignment and continued access to talent in the future. This sector is export led, already shipping cars to more than 160 countries, and in a period of unprecedented change a close trading relationship with the EU and preferential trading with all these other markets will be essential to keep automotive in Britain.”

Commercial vehicle (CV) manufacturing was stable in October, down just 0.2% year-on-year to 9,065 units manufactured.

Output for crucial overseas markets was up some 9.3%, but production for the domestic market fell 8.5% in the face of weakening demand.

Factories turned out just 15 units fewer than in the same period in 2018 as key new model production ramped up. Just over half of all those made headed abroad (51.3%).

Performance in the year to date remains down, falling by 11.5% overall. The decline is driven primarily by falling exports, down 16.6%, but also a fall in production for the UK market by a more modest 3.6%. Just over 62,000 new CVs have been made in Britain this year.




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