Car Production Numbers Up for First Time in More than a Year

The first eight months of 2019 saw 866,918 cars made

The number of cars made in the UK has increased for the first time in more than a year, according to the latest figures.

A total of 92,158 cars were made in August, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

This was a 3.3% increase compared to the same month in 2018, and the first increase in 15 months.

The SMMT said this was mainly because several plants brought forward planned summer shutdowns to April.

A number of factories, including Honda and Jaguar Land Rover, shut down for part of that month to mitigate against the UK’s departure from the European Union, which had been scheduled for 29 March.

This meant a loss in April that resulted in a 17% deficit so far this year.

An employee fits the wiring loom to a Mini at the BMW Mini car production plant in Oxford, west of London, on January 17, 2017
The growth masks an underlying downward trend, the SMMT says

The first eight months of 2019 saw 866,918 cars made – the first time since 2014 that the number of cars made has been below one million in that period.

Speaking about the 3.3% increase, SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “While growth is always welcome, today’s figures mask the underlying downward trend and strengthening global headwinds facing the sector, including international trade tensions, massive technological upheaval and, in the UK, political and economic uncertainty.

“Softening of global demand is compounding the challenge to UK manufacturers for whom a ‘no-deal’ Brexit would be a hammer blow.

“The mere threat of no-deal has undermined investment and the potential imposition of tariffs, border delays and additional administrative burdens would damage competitiveness.

“We now need parliament and government to redouble efforts to get a deal that maintains free and frictionless trade.

“Given the ongoing challenges and costs being incurred, there is not a moment to lose.”


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