In the face of market uncertainty, UK car production continues to fall. This is according to the latest data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). July statistics showed that demand dropped by 11% in July compared to July 2017. A total of 121,0151 units left the factory.
Total exports dropped by 4.2% year on year, with the biggest drop happening in the number of new cars. Cars produced for the home market decreased by 35%. Only 19,414 non-export models were produced. This dropped from 29,872 in July 2017 and followed on from a continued decrease in June.
The SMMT believe the drop in July is based on the high production number for 2017. The boost came from a variety of new models, such as the Swindon-built Honda Civic going on sale. A range of factors are being attributed to the overall drop, including market uncertainty over diesel engines. Preparation for strict new WLTP emissions standards is also a cause.
Even though the monthly figures are underwhelming, the data shows that year-to-date production is in line with expectations, From January to July 2018, 955,453 cars have rolled out of UK factories, showcasing a drop of 4.4% compared to the 2017 period.
SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes believed the industry was “undoubtedly feeling the effects of recent uncertainty in the domestic market. The bigger picture is complex and month-by-month fluctuations are inevitable as manufacturers manage product cycles, operational changes and the delicate balance of supply and demand.”
“To ensure future growth, we need political and economic clarity at home and the continuation of beneficial trading agreements with the EU and other key markets.”
With Britain set to leave the EU in March 2019, it’s likely that UK car production will continue to decrease. The unpredictability may calm down once a deal has been reached.