Thursday, 25 May 2017

UK car production falls by almost a fifth in April

The production of cars in the UK fell by almost a fifth in April compared to the same month of 2016, with the timing of Easter blamed for the drop.
Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed that around 122,000 cars were built over the course of the month, compared to 149,000 during April last year.

The timing of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend has been identified as a potential reason for the decline - Easter this year fell three weeks after its timing in 2016, when it was celebrated on 27 March.

The SMMT points out that the holiday reduced the number of active production days available for manufacturers over the course of April.

But the figures echo a similar plunge seen in new cars sales figures for last month.

SMMT data published earlier in May showed that registrations for new cars fell by 19.8% as motorists brought forward purchases to March to avoid new vehicle excise duty (VED) rates, which came into force on 1 April.

Mike Hawes, the chief executive of the SMMT, said that despite the poor performance last month the UK car industry is doing well, with almost 600,000 new cars built so far this year.
Demand for British cars from overseas buyers also saw a boost, most likely due to the ongoing weakness in sterling, which makes UK products cheaper abroad.

This helped to offset a 7% decline in demand from the home market.

"Overall, British car manufacturing remains in good health with the production outlook still very positive and significant new models due to go into UK production shortly," he said.

But Mr Hawes did extend a warning that the future of the sector depends on the current trade and customs deals the UK currently enjoys with Europe and elsewhere - trade deals which could be at risk thanks to Brexit.

"To guarantee future growth and investment into our industry and its vital supply chain, however, we need the next government to safeguard the conditions that have made us globally competitive, keeping us open and trading and delivering an ambitious industrial strategy for our sector," he said.

SKY    News.