British car production fell by 19.6% in November, with 129,030 units manufactured, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
In a continuation of recent trends, weaker demand in the UK and in key European and Asian export markets was exacerbated by the on-going impact of new regulations, alongside planned model and technology changes.
While production for the home market fell by 1.9% in the month, exports fell by 22.8%, making November the fifth consecutive month of decline.
Just over 105,000 cars were exported to global markets, representing some eight in every 10 cars leaving British factories.
In the first 11 months of 2018, more than 1.4 million cars were built in the UK, 8.2% down on the first 11 months of 2017, with export volumes down 75,085 units and output for the domestic market down 54,143 units.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive (www.smmt.co.uk
), said: “It is very concerning to see the demand for UK-built cars decline in November, with output seriously impacted by falling business and consumer confidence in the UK allied to weakening export markets.
"With fewer than 100 days until the UK leaves the European Union, the automotive industry needs certainty and a ‘no-deal’ Brexit must be ruled out.
"Thousands of jobs in British car factories and supply chains depend on free and frictionless trade with the EU.”
November also saw a 14.2% decline in UK engine production, as manufacturers responded to market changes; exports held steady with a 0.7% increase, while domestic demand dropped by 30.5%.
In the first 11 months of 2018, the UK produced more than 2.5 million engines, an increase of 0.8% on the first 11 months of 2017.
Countering these declines, UK commercial vehicle (CV) production increased by 26.5% in November; and while the low volumes associated with CV manufacturing can result in large percentage swings, the doubling in output for the home market helped boost CV manufacturing significantly.
Although the number of CVs built for overseas customers fell by 9.4% in the month, production for the UK market more than compensated, rising by 2,070 units.
The increase follows large fleet orders from British businesses and unusually weak performances in November 2016 and November 2017.
CV production in the first 11 months of 2018 remained broadly stable, increasing by 5.0% compared with the first 11 months of 2017, with manufacturing for the domestic market up 11.8% and export demand up 0.8%, accounting for almost 60% of total output.