September’s UK car production lowest for 25 years

UK car production fell in September, with output down 5%, to its lowest level for the month since 1995.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reports factories turned out 114,732 cars, a decline of some 6,000 units on the same month in 2019. It’s blaming it on the continued restrictions placed in relation to Covid-19 and also fears Brexit will have a major effect on the industry.

The response to the Coronavirus crisis has had a devastating effect on the industry. After the first nine months of 2020, UK car production has dropped -35.9% behind 2019 levels, with 632,824 vehicles built.

The latest independent outlook forecasts factories to make fewer than 885,000 cars this year – the first time volumes will have dipped below one million since 2009.2

Exports declined -9.7% in September to 87,533 units – some 9,500 fewer vehicles year-on-year, as shipments to key overseas destinations, including China, the EU and US fell -1.2%, -3.3% and -30.0% respectively. Production for the UK, meanwhile, climbed 14.5%, equivalent to a rise of 3,440 vehicles, largely a result of new models that were in ‘run out’ in the same month last year.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “These figures are yet more grim reading for UK Automotive as coronavirus continues to wreak havoc both at home and in key overseas markets. With the end of transition now just 63 days away, the fact that both sides are back around the table is a relief but we need negotiators to agree a deal urgently, one that prioritises automotive, enhances innovation and supports the industry in addressing the global threat of climate change. With production already strained, the additional blow of ‘no deal’ would be devastating for the sector, its workers and their families.”

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