car production falls

30 May 2019

UK car production drops by 45% amid Brexit doubts

Following Brexit concerns, many car manufacturers had factory shutdowns planned in the UK to cope with the disruptions following 29th March. The effects of this have been seen through a drastic fall in car production in April.

Though Brexit has been delayed, factories were still closed shutdown, resulting in an astounding 44.5% drop in car production, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

In April only 70,971 cars rolled off production lines, which was 56,999 less than the same time last year.

Moreover, production in both the home and overseas market presented a similar pattern, falling by 43.7% and 44.7% respectively.

SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes, said:

“Today’s figures are evidence of the vast cost and upheaval Brexit uncertainty has already wrought on UK automotive manufacturing businesses and workers.

“Prolonged instability has done untold damage, with the fear of ‘no deal’ holding back progress, causing investment to stall, jobs to be lost and undermining our global reputation.”

April’s fall in vehicle production is the eleventh consecutive monthly decline, with previous falls put down to sluggish demand in international markets including the EU, US and China.

However, the 44.5% collapse in April was much steeper than the 15% reported in February and the 13% seen in March.

The SMMT has blamed Brexit contingency plans for this trouble. They have however mentioned that if the UK leaves the European Union with a deal the decline in production could possibly ease off. They remarked:

“A no-deal Brexit, however, could exacerbate this decline, with the threat of border delays, production stoppages and additional costs compromising competitiveness.”

The automotive industry has been on the frontline of concern about the effect of Brexit on business, with warnings issued by a host of firms about the dangers of a no-deal scenario in particular.

By Lyba Nasir