Automobile production only drops 1.4% in November despite the second lockdown as bosses finally ask for a Brexit deal
- 106,250 cars were built in the UK last month – fewer than 1,500 in 2019
- The SMMT said a slight year-over-year decline in production was aided by a slow November 2019 for the automotive sector
- In the eleven months to November, total automobile production fell by almost a third
- This equates to a loss of 380,809 models at a cost of around £ 10.5 billion for the sector
- SMMT bosses said the industry is facing a “nightmare New Year” without a Brexit deal
The UK car factories produced 106,243 units last month, despite a second national lockdown for most of November.
The numbers fell by only 1.4 percent compared to the previous year, as the numbers show. Automakers were allowed to stay open during the increased restrictions – even though the showrooms were closed to customers.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders released the numbers this morning, saying the minor drop in production had been masked by an “especially weak November 2019” as precautionary factory shutdowns in anticipation of a possible no-deal Brexit squeezed production on October 31.
The trade organization used the November report to make one more final plea for the UK government to reach an agreement on trade-free access to the EU market from January 1st.
The SMMT has again urged the government to reach a Brexit trade deal
The SMMT said: “There were 1,501 fewer cars manufactured in November than the same month last year as many of the factors that occurred during much of 2020 dampened domestic orders, not least a second national lockdown in England and subsequent economic and political Turbulence. ‘
The export volume remained unchanged, increasing by only 0.3 percent and corresponding to an increase of 310 units, which was supported by deliveries to key markets in the EU, Asia and the USA.
The trade organization said more than eight in ten cars built in November were made for export, at 85.3 percent, highlighting the “critical importance” of free and fair trade in global markets for UK automakers.
In the eleven months to November, total UK automobile production fell by almost a third (31 percent) compared to the same period last year. This equates to a loss of 380,809 models at a cost of around £ 10.5 billion to the sector.
This means that the industry is on the right track, producing fewer than a million cars this year for the second time since the early 1980s.
It faces a difficult future with potential further £ 55.4bn production losses over the next five years if the sector is forced to act in a no-deal Brexit under WTO terms.
An aerial view shows lines of new Honda cars parked at Royal Portbury Dock in Avonmouth near Bristol in south west England. According to SMMT, more than 8 in 10 new cars built in the UK are exported to overseas markets
Mike Hawes, Managing Director of SMMT, said: “Another decline in UK auto production is worrying, of course, but nowhere near as worrying as the New Years nightmare in the auto industry if we don’t get a Brexit deal that works for the industry.
“In just nine days, the threat of a ‘no deal’ is being felt and the sector, now hit by the recent coronavirus revival, lockdowns to Tier 4 showrooms and disruptions in critical UK ports, needs it more than ever duty-free trade. ” Agreements on which our competitiveness is based. “
Mr Hawes made one last desperate offer for the ministers to reach an agreement with Brussels on a duty-free agreement with the EU for the automotive sector.
It comes after Honda halted production of cars earlier this month at its Swindon plant, which is responsible for producing the Civic model for Europe, as parts are difficult to source.
The plant will be closed for good in July next year and 3,500 jobs will be lost.
“It is finally time for a break as it would be a hammer blow for many automotive companies, workers and their families to have to act on WTO terms. So we have to get a deal – and one that avoids destroying punitive tariffs for all automotive products from day one, “warned Hawes.
“There is simply no other option for the long-term survival of UK Automotive,” he added.