“The end of production at Longbridge is clearly going to impact on total car output in the months to come," says Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief executive Christopher Macgowan.
“However, we must be careful not to assume that storm clouds hang over all car production in this country. A Queen's Award for International Trade for Toyota and a new model for Bentley's plant in Crewe are two examples of recent good news stories. We should also remind ourselves that the UK has some of the most productive plants and hosts more car makers than any other country in Europe.”
Seven out of 10 models built in the UK are now destined for export. Year-end production is expected to reach 1.55 million units, down 6% on the 2004 figure of 1.65 million units.