UK car manufacturing falls as domestic demand and exports dip

Lucy White
UK car output seems to be falling from a peak earlier this year (Source: Getty)

UK car manufacturing output fell in August for the fourth month this year, as domestic demand dropped and exports dipped.

Just 103,232 vehicles left UK factories last month, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a fall of 5.3 per cent on the same month last year.

This brings year-to-date production performance down 1.9 per cent in total.

Read more: UK car manufacturers eye international opportunities though Brexit jitters remain

“It’s common to see fluctuations during the summer months, as output varies according to the timing and duration of holiday factory shutdowns,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive. “However, the continuation of the longer term downward trend in domestic demand is a concern for production across the UK, so it is vital for the future health of this sector that the current uncertainty around Brexit is removed and consumer and business confidence restored.”

Although car output has been on a general uphill climb for the past several years, it appears that the industry may have hit its peak earlier this year.

Read more: British car manufacturers just had their biggest month in 17 years as demand for diesel cars continued

Production for the domestic market sank 4.4 per cent on last August to 26,594 cars, while output for overseas customers plummeted 5.6 per cent to 76,638.

The UK automotive industry has £77.5bn turnover and adds £21.5bn to the country's economy. It directly employs 169,000 people in manufacturing jobs and 814,000 more in the wider sector.

Automotive exports account for 12 per cent of the UK total and the industry invests £2.75bn every year in research and development.

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