Has Britain Stopped Making Cars?

Thu 29th Oct 2020

Shocking year on year figures have revealed that last month’s motor production figures were the lowest since 1995, a worrying sign as Britain heads for what seems an inevitable hard Brexit.

While a five per cent slump on the previous September in 2019 may not seem significant, the effect of the pandemic and uncertainty over the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union is battering confidence in the manufacturing sector.

And while demand for used cars is showing healthy signs of bouncing back from the height of lockdown, the new car market has yet to show signs of recovery, there were only 114,732 vehicles rolling off the production line last month according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

“These figures are yet more grim reading for UK Automotive as coronavirus continues to wreak havoc both at home and in key overseas markets,” said the SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes. “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.”

Motor manufacturers across Europe and the UK have warned that the failure of both parties to strike a deal will put a £100bn dent in the car industry, with World Trade Organisation rules adding significant tariffs for imports and exports.