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UK car production fell 20% in November compared with last year

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The number of cars built in the UK slumped by almost 20% compared with a year ago, according to new figures.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) blamed the “substantial” decline on weaker demand at home and in key European and Asian export markets.

It also said the ongoing impact of new regulation alongside planned model and technology changes hurt demand.

Just over 129,000 cars were built in November, down by 19.6% on the same month last year.

Exports were down by 22.8% – falling for the fifth month in a row.

Production for the year to date is down 8.2% at 1.44 million cars, the biggest such decline since Britain’s last recession in 2009.

Chief executive Mike Hawes said: “It’s very concerning to see demand for UK built cars decline in November, 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.

“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.”

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