Production of British cars fell by almost 20 per cent in November, with 129,030 units manufactured, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
In a continuation of recent trends, weaker demand in the UK and in key European and Asian export markets was exacerbated by the ongoing impact of new regulation alongside planned model and technology changes.
While home production fell by 1.9 per cent in the month, exports experienced a steeper 22.8 per cent drop – falling for the fifth month in a row.
Just over 105,000 cars were exported to global markets in November, still representing some eight in every 10 cars leaving British factories.
In the year to date, more than 1.4 million cars have been built in the UK overall, a -8.2 per cent year on year decline, with export volumes down 75,085 units and output for the domestic market down 54,143.
SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said the decline was very concerning, with output seriously impacted by falling business and consumer confidence in the UK — allied to weakening export markets.
“With fewer than 100 days until the UK leaves the European Union, the automotive industry needs certainty and a ‘no-deal’ Brexit must be ruled out,” he said.
“Thousands of jobs in British car factories and supply chains depend on free and frictionless trade with the EU.
“If the country falls off a cliff-edge next March the consequences would be devastating.”