UK car production records weakest September since 1995

Xinhua News Agency | Oct 29, 2020 at 2:42 PM

LONDON, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- The British car production dropped 5 percent year-on-year in September this year, marking the worst performance for the month in 25 years, the British Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said Thursday.

Data showed that British car manufacturing output fell 114,732 units in September, as companies continued to "wrestle with the uncertain economic and political environment and COVID-related challenging global market conditions," said the SMMT.

Exports declined 9.7 percent in September compared with the same period one year earlier to 87,533 units, as shipments to China, the European Union (EU) and the United States decreased 1.2 percent, 3.3 percent and 30.0 percent respectively, said the trade association for motor industry.

Meanwhile, during the first nine months of 2020, British car production plunged 35.9 percent year-on-year to 632,824 vehicles, said the SMMT.

"These figures are yet more grim reading for UK Automotive as coronavirus continues to wreak havoc both at home and in key overseas markets," said Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT.

Commenting on Britain's ongoing trade talks with the EU, Hawes said it was a relief as both sides are back around the table, "but we need negotiators to agree a deal urgently, one that prioritises automotive, enhances innovation and supports the industry in addressing the global threat of climate change."

"With production already strained, the additional blow of 'no deal' (Brexit) would be devastating for the sector, its workers and their families," Hawes added.