UK car making stable in January

UK car manufacturing output held steady in January, with just 72 fewer cars produced than in the same month last year.

According to figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), exports growth drove overall output, with a record 119,252 British-built cars shipped overseas, an increase of 1.5 per cent.

Production for UK buyers did however decline for the sixth consecutive month, a decrease of -6.0 per cent to 28,229 cars. SMMT says the drop reflects “falling UK business and consumer confidence and confusion over government policies on diesel taxation and air quality plans.”

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, comments: “While it is good to see global appetite for British-built cars reach record levels in January, this only reinforces the industry’s increasing reliance on overseas demand. Future growth will therefore depend on maintaining our current open trade links not just with Europe but with key international markets.

“A transitional deal will be an important first step but, in the long term, a seamless relationship between the UK and Europe must be maintained. The EU remains the third largest new car market in the world and, given it is on our doorstep, it is not surprising it accounts for more than half of our global exports.”

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