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UK car manufacturing output falls significantly

By Oliver Haill

Date: Thursday 25 May 2017

UK car manufacturing output falls significantly

(ShareCast News) - UK car output tanked last month, with the industry blaming the effect of Easter bank holidays and unplanned production changes.
The number of cars made in Britain in April fell 18.2% year-on-year to just over 122,100, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said on Thursday, which was also down 28% on the record 170,700 from March.

However, in the four months of 2017 production has been 1% higher at 593,796 units, the highest level since 2000.

Domestic demand has fallen 7% in the year to date but demand from overseas buyers has driven growth, up 3.5%.

So far in 2017, 76.8% of all cars made in the UK have been shipped abroad, with the majority going into the EU.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said the industry's production outlook "still very positive" with significant new models due to go into UK production shortly.

He called on the new government post election to guarantee future growth and investment into our industry and its supply chain, however, "to safeguard the conditions that have made us globally competitive, keeping us open and trading and delivering an ambitious industrial strategy for our sector", referring to a car manufacturing industry that supports 814,000 jobs and generates sales of over £70bn a year.

On Brexit negotiations, the SMMT made six demands, including for the UK to retain the benefits of the Single Market and to secure tariff- and customs-free automotive trade with the EU, plus "full cumulation of UK and EU content" to facilitate preferential access to third country markets.

The car industry also wants unrestricted and reciprocal access to EU workers, and "the closest possible" long-term relationship with the EU on regulatory, R&D, trade and customs.

Finally, the industry hopes the transition from EU membership to a new trading relationship can be managed by continuing existing
trading arrangements with the EU and third country markets in the event of no deal being agreed.

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