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Car production falls again as industry warns of ‘no-deal Brexit’ | Business News

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The number of cars built in the UK dropped by 4% in October compared with a year ago underlining the “extremely worrying times” facing the industry, according to a trade body.

Car production has now fallen in 16 out of the last 17 months as demand at home and abroad declines, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Output only rose in August because Brexit contingency measures increased production that month.

Some 134,752 cars rolled off production lines in October, 5,622 fewer than the same month last year, SMMT figures showed.

There was nearly an 11% slump in domestic demand, while overseas orders were down by 2.6%, which accounts for around 80% of output.

Car production was down by more than 14% in the year to date, to 1.1 million vehicles.

The gloomy figures come after the SMMT warned car production could be slashed by more than a third if the UK leaves the EU without an “ambitious” trade deal.

It has called for Britain to negotiate the closest possible trading relationship with Brussels after Brexit.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: “Yet another month of falling car production makes these extremely worrying times for the sector.

“Our global competitiveness is under threat, and to safeguard it we need to work closely with the next government to ensure frictionless trade, free of tariffs, with regulatory alignment and continued access to talent in the future.

“This sector is export-led, already shipping cars to more than 160 countries, and in a period of unprecedented change a close trading relationship with the EU and preferential trading with all these other markets will be essential to keep automotive in Britain.”

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