Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 30th May 2019
The UK’s car manufacturers saw their collective output decline by 44.5 per cent during April of this year as compared to the same month in 2018.
Volumes of cars being created for overseas markets were down by 44.7 per cent in April, while those made for domestic consumption fell at a similarly sharp rate of 43.7 per cent year on year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The SMMT describes the number of cars being made during April as having plummeted, with factory shutdowns and rescheduling as a result of Brexit-related uncertainties cited as being largely to blame for the sharp declines in output.
The trade group explains that many of its members felt the need to make plans to mitigate against the potential for a ‘no deal’ Brexit on March 29th, when the UK had been scheduled to depart the European Union.
Despite the UK having remained a member of the EU into April and beyond, carmakers were forced to implement a “raft of costly and ongoing contingency measures” at their factories, the SMMT has made clear.
According to the carmakers’ society, there have been almost 130,000 fewer cars made across the UK during the year to date, as compared with the same period in 2018.
Hopes within the car industry are that manufacturing rates will recover over the course of 2019 but there are still concerns that further issues and uncertainty around Brexit might yet result in more difficulties for companies across the country.
“Today’s figures are evidence of the vast cost and upheaval Brexit uncertainty has already wrought on UK automotive manufacturing businesses and workers,” said Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT.
“Prolonged instability has done untold damage, with the fear of ‘no deal’ holding back progress, causing investment to stall, jobs to be lost and undermining our global reputation,” he said.
“This is why ‘no deal’ must be taken off the table immediately and permanently, so industry can get back to the business of delivering for the economy and keeping the UK at the forefront of the global technology race.”