UK car production drops 20.8 percent in July as uncertainty remains

UK car production
Car production

British car production continued to drop in July as factories struggled to ramp up output and global demand recovered slowly, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said Thursday.

Data showed that British car production fell 20.8 percent in July compared with the same period one year earlier to 85,696 units, with manufacturing for domestic and overseas orders both decreasing.

“The month saw the ramp-up of production continue, as global lockdown measures eased and nearly all factories reopened, however, social distancing measures and ongoing economic uncertainty still stifled output,” said the SMMT.

In the year to date, overall production declined by 39.7 percent year-on-year due to the significant impact of the coronavirus pandemic, figures showed.

“As key global markets continue to re-open and UK car plants gradually get back to business, these figures are a marked improvement on the previous three months, but the outlook remains deeply uncertain,” said Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT.

Hawes expressed strong concerns on the blow of a “no deal” Brexit, saying that as the sector is battling economic recession as well as a global pandemic, it has “neither the time nor capacity to deal with the further shock of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.”

“The impact of tariffs on the sector and the hundreds of thousands of livelihoods it supports would be devastating, so we need negotiators on both sides to pull out all of the stops to ensure a comprehensive free trade deal is agreed and in place before the end of 2020,” he added.

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