UK car production falls by 3.8% amid weak demand, says SMMT
UK car production dropped by 3.8% in September due to lower demand both at home and abroad, according to data released on Thursday by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
British factories churned out 122,256 vehicles during the month, almost 5,000 fewer than in September last year, as production for the UK declined by 5.1% amid continued political and economic uncertainty.
Likewise, exports fell by 3.4% due to cooling demand in key global and European markets.
The month's results mean that UK car production for the first nine months of the year has falled by 15.6%, which the SMMT said was the weakest first three quarters since 2011 and illustrated the impact of the challenges currently facing the British automotive industry.
The organisation said car companies are still having to divert huge resources to preparing for the possibility of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, having already shelled out more than £500m on preparations for leaving the EU without a deal.
This means that some companies are reducing, delaying or even cancelling investment in new products and facilities.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "Another bitterly disappointing month reflects domestic and international market contraction. Most worrying of all though is the continued threat of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, something which has caused international investment to stall and cost UK operations hundreds of millions of pounds, money that would have better been spent in meeting the technological challenges facing the global industry.
"A general election may ultimately provide some certainty, but does not yet remove the spectre of no deal which will continue to inhibit the UK industry’s prospects unless we can agree and implement a new, ambitious and permanent relationship that safeguards free and frictionless trade."