The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) released a report that shows a decline in the UK car production in March, with demand falling -13.3% year on year. A total of 147,471 cars were built in British factories as the domestic market continued to slow down at -17.7%. Exports also declined at -11.9% because of fluctuations in demand in some global markets.
The first quarter of 2018 announced a drop of -6.3% in the overall output, with 440,426 cars leaving production lines in total this year. Almost 80% of these were exported and while demand from overseas customers fell -4.0 per cent in Q1, this was dwarfed by the -14.1% decline in manufacturing for the UK market.
A double digit decline in car manufacturing for both home and overseas markets is of considerable concern. Following recent announcements on jobs cutbacks in the sector, itâs vitally important that the industry and consumers receive greater certainty, both about future policies towards diesel and other low emission technologies, and our post-Brexit trading relationships and customs arrangements, said Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive.
UK-based vehicle and component manufacturers account for 13% of all the countryâs export in goods; therefore is an important contributor to the economy. For every £1 generated by the industry, £3 are delivered to the economy via sectors such as logistics, retail and finance, with SMMT putting the total economic impact at £219 billion, which represents 10% of the UK GDP.
Alex Buttle, director of Motorway.co.uk, commented on the figures, saying: In anyoneâs books thatâs a worrying trend, even when you take into account that domestic demand was particularly strong in the first quarter of 2017. The industry is facing a crisis. It has been hit with several knockout blows and is struggling to climb off the canvas, with Brexit only likely to worsen the situation.