UK car production declines for fifth consecutive month in January


British car production dropped for the fifth consecutive month in January mainly due to the sharp decrease in domestic demand, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said Thursday.

Data showed that British car production fell 2.1 percent in January compared with the same period one year earlier, to 118,314 units, hitting its lowest level in volume in January for nine years.

Notably, car manufacturing for overseas orders rose 4.1 percent to 97,870 in January, with growing demand in key European and Asian markets. However, output for the domestic market decreased sharply, down 23.9 percent year-on-year.

The industry body urged supportive measures to boost British market in the upcoming post-Brexit budget slated for March 11 as planned.

Meanwhile, the group highlighted that “the biggest boost” for British car sector was to reach “a free trade deal” with the European Union (EU).

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: “Exports are the bedrock for UK car manufacturing so a rise in January exports is welcome following recent declining demand in overseas markets.”

“These figures, however, still give great cause for concern, with another month of falling car production driven by a lack of confidence and corresponding weak demand in the UK,” said Hawes.

he upcoming budget is an opportunity for government to provide supportive measures to stimulate market, said Hawes, noting that “the biggest boost would be the agreement of an ambitious free trade deal with Europe.”

“This would end the ongoing uncertainty and help the UK to recover its hard-won reputation as a great place for automotive investment,” Hawes added. Enditem

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