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UK car production declines 10.6% in July as exports down

SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes

British car manufacturing output declined 10.6% in July, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

July was the fourteenth straight month of decline, as major export markets in the EU and Asia were decreasing.

Production for export fell 14.6% in the last month, however overseas demand continued the main driver of overall volumes, accounting for 8 in 10 cars built.

Mike Hawes (pictured), SMMT chief executive, said: “Another month of decline for UK car manufacturing is a serious concern.

"The sector is overwhelmingly reliant on exports and the global headwinds are strong, with escalating trade tensions, softening demand and significant technological change.

“With the UK market also weak, the importance of maintaining the UK’s global competitiveness has never been more important so we need a Brexit deal – and quickly – to unlock investment and safeguard the long term future of a sector which has recently been such an international success story.”

Output for the domestic market rose by 10.2%, which was just short of 2,000 units, following a 35.1% fall in July 2018.

When compared year-to-year, 774,760 cars have been made in Britain, which is 180,864 less than this timespan last year - a fall of 18.9%.

Whilst exports continue to account for most orders, their decline is a key factor. Overseas shipments were also down -20.2%

Last month global instability and fears of a ‘no deal’ Brexit were reported to be a contributing factor to a 20.1% decline in vehicle production in the UK during the first half of 2019, according to the SMMT.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said that British car manufacturing output fell by more than a fifth in the first half of 2019, with a 15.2% dip in June marking the 13th consecutive month of decline.

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