September UK car production lowest since 1995 as COVID-19 and Brexit uncertainty bite

Published:  29 October, 2020

UK car production fell by 5% in September, which was the worst performance for the month since 1995 according to the latest figures from the SMMT.

UK car plants produced 114,732 cars in September, a drop of around 6,000 units on the same month in 2019. Exports fell 9.7% to 87,533 units. However, production for the UK actually climbed 14.5%, equivalent to a rise of 3,440 vehicles.

In the first nine months of 2020, UK car production dropped 35.9% below 2019 levels, with 632,824 vehicles built. Factories are expected to make fewer than 885,000 cars this year – the first time volumes will have dipped below 1 million since 2009.

According to SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes, the figures show the need for the UK and EU to reach a post-Brexit trade agreement, with the impact of Coronavirus compounding the urgency: “These figures are yet more grim reading for UK Automotive as coronavirus continues to wreak havoc both at home and in key overseas markets.

“With the end of transition now just 63 days away, the fact that both sides are back around the table is a relief but we need negotiators to agree a deal urgently, one that prioritises automotive, enhances innovation and supports the industry in addressing the global threat of climate change.”

He added: “With production already strained, the additional blow of ‘no deal’ would be devastating for the sector, its workers and their families.”

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