Fewer people are buying new cars at home, but exports are faring better.
The lack of people buying new cars in the UK has caused a slump in UK car production according to a new report.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has said that British car manufacturing declined 4.4 percent in February, with production falling by double figures. But it's not just at home where sales suffered, exports also dipped by 0.8 percent, with 117,139 vehicles shipped overseas, which still accounted for more than 80 percent of output.
February production numbers for the UK fell by 17 percent to 28,336 units – the seventh consecutive month of decline in the UK. All in all, 145,475 units were produced, 6,757 fewer than the same month last year. Overall, year-to-date output declined by 2.3 percent, with 292,956 units rolling off production lines in the first two months of 2018, while domestic demand fell 11.9 percent and exports were steady, up 0.3 percent on 2017.
'Another month of double digit decline in production for the UK is of considerable concern, but we hope that the degree of certainty provided by last week’s Brexit transition agreement will help stimulate business and consumer confidence over the coming months,' said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive. 'These figures also highlight the scale of our sector’s dependency on exports, so a final deal that keeps our frictionless trade links with our biggest market, the EU, after December 2020 is now a pressing priority.'
Earlier this year the UK's biggest carmaker, Jaguar Land Rover, confirmed it would be decreasing production due to falling demand in the wake of Brexit.
Tata-owned JLR is planning to reduce production during the second quarter of 2018, albeit temporarily, at its Halewood plant near Liverpool where the manufacturer builds its Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport models. The reasoning behind the decision was said to be down to reduced demand because of Brexit uncertainty and the recent tax increases on diesel cars.