Britain's carmakers suffered record losses of £1.7 billion last year.
A survey by the FT on the accounts for 2000 of the 13 leading carmakers with plants in the UK shows that losses more than doubled from the £696.6m deficit posted in 1999.
Only two carmakers in the survey remained profitable, PSA Peugeot Citroen, with plants in the Midlands, and Jaguar.
“Had it not been for their combined profits last year of £186.8m, the industry's total deficit would have reached almost £1.9 billion,” says the FT.
The largest losses were sustained by Ford of Britain and MG Rover. Ford lost £660m at the pre-tax level while MG Rover incurred a £254m deficit in the first eight months of its independence following BMW's break-up of Rover Group. Other companies that fell from profit to heavy losses included Vauxhall, Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK), Lotus and Unipart, the aftersales and distribution group.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders blamed the poor results on the UK's 'wait and see' approach to the euro, making it almost impossible to make a profit on exports. (January 2, 2002)