UK car manufacturing at its lowest level in over a decade

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UK car manufacturing at its lowest level in over a decade

UK car manufacturing has declined by 20% in November and this trend is revealing that the industry is at its lowest level in over ten years. This massive drop in manufacturing underscores the great fears that are looming mainly due to Brexit.

November was the worst month in a decade in most of Britain’s car factories, with a combined drop of 20 per cent in production mainly due to a contraction brought on by their imminent departure from the EU.

According to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders in the UK. The number of cars made in UK plants in November fell exactly 19.6 per cent to 129,030 cars which is the biggest decline since November 2008.

The UK domestic market fell by 1.9 per cent to 23,809 vehicles but it was the export market that seen a huge drop of 22.8 per cent to 105,221 vehicles.

The SMMT is blaming weak consumer and business confidence in the United Kingdom ahead of Brexit. SMMT’s chief executive, Mike Hawes said:

“It’s very concerning to see demand for UK-built cars decline in November, with output seriously impacted by falling business and consumer confidence in the UK allied to weakening export markets,”

UK car manufacturers are heavily dependent on exports, with eight out of 10 cars going overseas. Half of all these cars manufactured go to Europe. Car manufacturers have warned that any border checks and other delays will have a huge impact on their operations.

The chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, Ralf Speth, has previously warned that a “no-deal” Brexit would make car manufacturing in the UK unviable. Added to his comments, Mike Hawes of the SMMT added:

“With fewer than 100 days until the UK leaves the European Union, the automotive industry needs certainty and a ‘no-deal’ Brexit must be ruled out.

“Thousands of jobs in British car factories and supply chains depend on free and frictionless trade with the EU. If the country falls off a cliff edge next March the consequences would be devastating.”

The UK is not the only place that has seen a drop in car sales. The US and China also has seen a huge drop in demand after years of strong growth. This is also due to the uncertainties brought on by the trade war between the two superpowers.

Here in Europe, there is also the growing government policies aimed at limiting polluting diesel-powered cars. This also is hurting car sales across the UK and Europe. As the head of UK automotive at Lloyds Bank Stuart Apperley said:

“The slowdown in China and the US is adding to the pressure on those firms that manufacture for those or all markets,”

“Meanwhile, ongoing uncertainty about the future of diesel in major markets around the world has put car sales into reverse.”

UK Car Manufacturing Drop November 2018


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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