UK car manufacturing falls in October

Posted on 14 Dec 2018 and read 424 times
UK car manufacturing falls in OctoberUK car manufacturing fell 9.8% in October, with 15,255 fewer units produced than in October 2017, according to data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) (, which said market turbulence at home and overseas, uncertainty over Brexit and model changes, all played a part in the decline.

Production for the home market fell by 12.1% in October — the fifth consecutive month of decline — with 24,246 cars destined for UK showrooms. Overseas demand also fell (down 9.3%), although exports continued to account for the lion’s share of output — 82.7% of all cars produced.

Output for the first 10 months of 2018 was down 6.9% compared with the first 10 months of 2017, with some 1.3 million units produced.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “A fifth consecutive month of decline for UK car manufacturing is undoubtedly concerning; and while a number of factors have been at play, there is no doubt that business and consumer uncertainty is having a significant impact.

“With eight in 10 British-built cars destined for overseas markets — the majority to the EU — the sector’s dependence on exports cannot be downplayed.

“Europe is our largest trading partner and securing the right Brexit agreement, which allows free and frictionless trade is vital for the future health of our industry.”

Meanwhile, British commercial-vehicle (CV) manufacturing grew by 31.0% in October, compared with October 2017, with 9,066 vans, trucks, buses and coaches leaving production lines.

Production for the UK saw a 61.9% boost, with increased demand for UK-built models resulting in 4,815 units being produced.

Meanwhile, 4,251 CVs were built for export — a 7.7% increase compared with October 2017.

Output in the first 10 months of 2018 remained broadly stable, up 2.5% on the first 10 months of 2017 to almost 70,000 units. Manufacture for both the home and global markets has grown overall, by 3.5% and 1.8% respectively.

UK manufacturing continues to rely on customers around the world, with production for export making up 61.2% of factory output for the 10-month period.

UK engine manufacturing held reasonably steady in October, with a marginal 0.1% decline compared with October 2017.

Exports drove demand, with production for overseas markets up 20.0%, offsetting a 21.7% fall in output for the UK and marking a sixth consecutive month of domestic decline.

In the first 10 months of 2018, more than 2.3 million units were produced — up nearly 60,000 units on the first 10 months of 2017.

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