July has proven to be the 14th successive month of British car manufacturing decline – falling by 10.6 per cent during the month.

According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the UK produced 108,239 cars last month, compared to 121,051 in July 2018.

Exports declined too, seeing a 14.6 per cent drop, although eight in every 10 cars are still shipped overseas.

On the other hand, output for the domestic market rose by 10.2 per cent. This is a welcome improvement on the steep -35.1 per cent drop in July 2018.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘Another month of decline for UK car manufacturing is a serious concern. The sector is overwhelmingly reliant on exports and the global headwinds are strong, with escalating trade tensions, softening demand and significant technological change.’

In the year-to-date, 774,760 cars have been built in the UK – that’s 180,864 less than in the same timeframe last year, representing a -18.9 per cent fall.

Hawes added: ‘With the UK market also weak, the importance of maintaining the UK’s global competitiveness has never been more important so we need a Brexit deal – and quickly – to unlock investment and safeguard the long term future of a sector which has recently been such an international success story.’

Ted Welford


August 29, 2019