British car production falls to lowest since 1984

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Workers assemble Audi A6 L cars at a workshop of FAW-Volkswagen Automobile Co., Ltd. in Changchun, northeast China's Jilin Province, Feb. 17, 2020. A batch of black-colored Audi A6 L cars rolled off the production line on Monday. As the first batch of new cars produced at the FAW-Volkswagen Changchun base after the outbreak of novel coronavirus, it marked that the FAW-Volkswagen Automobile Co., Ltd., a passenger car joint venture between FAW and Volkswagen AG, officially resumed production. With thorough epidemic prevention and control measures, the joint venture's four major manufacturing bases in Changchun, Chengdu, Qingdao and Tianjin resumed production on Monday. (Xinhua/Zhang Nan)
(Xinhua/Zhang Nan)

dpa/GNA – British car production declined to the lowest in 36 years in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, or SMMT, reported Thursday.

Car production decreased 29.3 per cent to 920,928 units in 2020. This was the lowest output since 1984.

Production for local market fell 30.4 per cent and that for exports decreased 29.1 per cent from the last year. The EU remained Britain’s biggest export destination, taking a 53.5 per cent share.

Shipments to the US, Japan and Australia logged double-digit declines, while exports to China, ended the year up 2.3 per cent.

Car production was down 2.3 per cent to 71,403 in December, with some firms affected by border closures and thus component supply issues.

The lobby noted that manufacturing operations were severely disrupted throughout last year, with lockdowns and social distancing measures restricting factory output, Brexit uncertainty continuing until Christmas Eve and depressed market demand in key export destinations. According to the latest independent production outlook, British car production will partly recover in 2021 to one million units.

However, much will depend on the extent of Covid measures here and abroad and the speed with which showrooms can reopen, the agency added.

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