UK car production stalls for third month on the trot as industry says it risks missing 2020 target of 2m cars a year

Rebecca Smith
Car production was down for the third month running
Car production was down for the third month running (Source: Getty)

UK car production isn't having the sunniest of summers, as new figures for June showed a drop of 13.7 per cent compared to the year before, marking the third consecutive month of decline.

And with this update, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) also announced the industry was likely to miss its aim of producing more than 2m cars a year by 2020.

The SMMT said the UK market was cooling in line with forecasts, after a hefty period of record growth.

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Some 136,901 cars rolled off production lines last month, though that was still the second highest figure in 12 years.

The first-half performance dipped 2.9 per cent to 866,656 units. The SMMT said exports drove volumes for the first six months of the year, as 78.9 per cent of British-built cars were shipped overseas.

There is ongoing uncertainty though the SMMT said production should rally in the second half of the year, based on some new models and updates planned for production later in 2017. It did warn the forecast may be revised due to "market softness" in both the UK and certain key export markets.

Mike Hawes, SMMT's chief executive, who has been vocal over his industry's Brexit concerns, said today:

World-class engineering, productivity, strong government collaboration and massive investment in the past few years have helped UK automotive become a global success story.

At the heart of this has been the free and frictionless trade we've enjoyed with the EU – by far our biggest customer and supplier. But Brexit uncertainty is not helping investment and growth is stalling.

The government has been in 'listening' mode but now it must put on the table the concrete plans that will assure the future competitiveness of the sector.

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