Drop in the number of new cars being produced

Fewer cars were built in the UK in October than the same period 12 months ago.

UK car manufacturing fell 9.8% in October, with 15,255 fewer units produced compared with the same month a year ago, according to data published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Market turbulence at home and overseas, uncertainty over Brexit and model changes all played a part in the decline.

Production for the home market fell -12.1% in October – the fifth consecutive month of decline, with 24,246 cars destined for UK showrooms. Meanwhile, overseas demand also fell, down -9.3% last month.

However, exports continued to account for the lion’s share of output taking 82.7% of all cars produced. Year-to-date output remains down, falling -6.9%, with some 1.3 million units produced in the first 10 months.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘The fifth consecutive month of decline for UK car manufacturing is undoubtedly concerning and, while a number of factors have been at play, there is no doubt that business and consumer uncertainty is having a significant impact.

‘With eight in 10 British-built cars destined for overseas markets, the majority to the EU, the sector’s dependence on exports cannot be downplayed. Europe is our largest trading partner and securing the right Brexit agreement which allows free and frictionless trade is vital for the future health of our industry.’

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders is one of the largest and most influential trade associations in the UK. It supports the interests of the UK automotive industry at home and abroad, promoting a united position to government, stakeholders and the media.

The automotive industry is a vital part of the UK economy accounting for £82 billion turnover and £20.2 billion value added.

With some 186,000 people employed directly in manufacturing and 856,000 across the wider automotive industry, it accounts for 12.8% of total UK export of goods and invests £3.65 billion each year in automotive R&D. More than 30 manufacturers build some 70 models of vehicle in the UK supported by 2,500 component providersand some of the world’s most skilled engineers.