UK car production increases thanks to rising levels of exports

UK car production increases thanks to rising levels of exports

CAR production increased last month as rising exports made up for falling demand in the UK.

Just over 157,000 cars rolled off production lines in October, 3.5 per cent more than the same month last year, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Exports were up by five per cent, with more than 1.1 million cars built for overseas markets so far this year, compared with a 2.9 per cent fall in domestic demand.

More than four out of five UK-built cars were shipped abroad last month, the highest proportion this year, with most going to other European countries.

An independent forecast on how many cars will be built this year has been revised down from around 1.8 million to 1.73 million, said the SMMT.

Chief executive Mike Hawes said: ‘It’s encouraging to see positive growth in exports this month and a slight increase in overall output.

‘Production for British consumers, however, has continued to fall as domestic demand for new cars decreased for the ninth month this year amidst continued uncertainty over both Brexit and the government’s air-quality plans.

‘It’s important that confidence is restored to the new car market, as sales of the latest cleaner, greener cars not only address air-quality concerns but speed up activity on factory lines across the UK.

‘The latest independent UK forecast report is worrying news for the sector, predicting annual output which is, at best, static compared with last year.

‘The industry needs stability and a clear roadmap for Brexit if we are to encourage investment and arrest the decline in both the market and business confidence.’

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