Britain's car output tumbled by almost 20 per cent in November as Brexit worries weighed on consumer and business morale.
It is the biggest decline in car production that the UK has seen since the last recession in 2009, with November's output heavily down on the same period last year.
The number of cars produced in Britain last month fell 19.6 per cent from a year earlier to 129,030, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The slump, which is linked to weaker growth in export markets as well as Brexit worries, is set to weigh on fourth-quarter economic growth figures.
Total output for the year is also down 8.2 per cent, with 1.44 million cars produced so far, falling at its fastest rate since 2009.
“Output (was) seriously impacted by falling business and consumer confidence in the UK allied to weakening export markets,” SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said. “If the country falls off a cliff-edge next March the consequences would be devastating.”
It comes as a business sentiment was also reported at its lowest since the Brexit referendum in 2016.
Bank of England officials lowered their quarterly economic growth forecast for the last three months of the year on Thursday, lowering it from 0.3 per cent to 0.2 per cent, and also said early 2019 was likely to look similar.
“The expected slowdown in economic growth in Q4 could well be extended into early 2019, but there is potential for a rebound in sentiment should there be some respite in uncertainties that firms currently face,” Lloyds economist Hann-Ju Ho said.