UK car output ends run of declines to rise 5 per cent in April

Thursday, May 31, 2018


UK car production rose in April as several plants ramped up production to deliver a number of new key and updated models. 


British factories built 127,952 vehicles in April as output grew 5.2 per cent on the same month last year, according to figures released by industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).  


Output had slumped since November in response to falling domestic demand, especially for diesel models, and due to the changeover between older and newer cars.


Manufacturing for home and overseas markets grew by 7.3 per cent and 4.7 per cent respectively, with 103,662 cars built for export in the month accounting for 81.0 per cent of total production.


However, year-to-date, overall output remains down, by 3.9 per cent, with a total of 568,378 cars leaving production lines in the first four months of 2018.  


Four fifths of these were exported, as domestic demand fell 10.3 per cent against a less substantial 2.2 per cent decline in vehicles destined for global markets.


“While April’s growth isn’t altogether surprising given the significant decline in output this time last year, it is good to see earlier planned investment into new models delivering results,” said SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes.


The British automotive industry is concerned, however, that Brexit could see the loss of frictionless, tariff-free trade with its biggest export market.


“The ability of UK plants to attract the next wave of new models and drive future growth depends upon maintaining these competitive conditions after Brexit,” said Hawes.

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