UK Car Production Continues Dramatic Decline

Thu 28th Feb 2019

The global downturn on the demand for new cars is being blamed for an alarming slump in motor vehicle production across the UK as the industry saw an eight successive month of decline.

Whilst the prospect of a no-deal Brexit weighs heavily on the minds of UK motor industry bosses, there are a number of other factors which are contributing to the drop, with the continuing slow death of diesel and a slowing Chinese interest also adding to the concerns.

January figures are down 18.2 per cent on the previous year’s comparison.

But with 80 per cent of all cars produced in Britain destined for foreign markets, it is the lack of interest in new cars which is sparking the downturn.

"The industry faces myriad challenges, from falling demand in key markets, to escalating global trade tensions and the need to stay at the forefront of future technology,” said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief Mike Hawes.

"But, the clear and present danger remains the threat of a 'no deal' Brexit, which is monopolising time and resources, undermining competitiveness."

And while the perfect storm of factors are slowing the market down, the Brexit factor is likely to have a much more significant effect on production, should the no-deal scenario come to fruition. A recent SMMT survey showed that almost one third of car companies have postponed or cancelled UK investment decisions based on the outcome of Brexit.