UK car production declined for a third consecutive month in August by 13 per cent, due to model changes and maintenance shutdowns, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has said.
Around 89,254 cars were produced last month. Domestic production fell by nearly 40 per cent while exports were down by 3.8 per cent to 72,983 cars, accounting for 81.8 per cent of total production.
The figures show a stark contrast between domestic and overseas production, with around 850,000 shipped abroad in the first eight months of the year but only 194, 887 built for the home market – an 18.6 per cent decline on last year.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The quieter summer months are often subject to fluctuations due to the variable timing and duration of annual maintenance and re-tooling shutdowns. This instability was exacerbated in August, with the industry racing to recertify entire model ranges to meet tougher testing standards in force on 1 September.
"With exports, the majority to the EU, continuing to drive demand, it underscores the importance of a Brexit agreement to safeguard this trade; for our sector, ‘no deal’ is not an option.”
Earlier this month the SMMT issued a stark warning against a no-deal Brexit, saying such an exit from the EU would lead to £5bn tariffs that were "just the tip of the iceberg".
The trade body also warned that UK buyers of cars and vans from the EU face an additional bill of between £1,500 and £1,700 as import tariffs would push up the cost of cars.