Car production in the U.K. has been cut almost in half as manufacturers induce an early summer slowdown.
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), factories produced nearly 45% fewer vehicles in April compared to a year previously with just 71,000 cars rolling off production lines – 60,000 fewer than April 2018.
And production slowdown also occurred for overseas markets where there was a 44.7% rollback.
According to the SMMT, car firms have brought forward usual summer stoppages in a process including stockpiling of components, training and customs procedures that had been prepared for a 29th March Brexit.
Chief executive at SMMT, Mike Hawes said of the data that: “Today’s figures are evidence of the vast cost and upheaval Brexit uncertainty has already wrought on UK automotive manufacturing businesses and workers.
“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.”
The UK car industry is very much in recession with 11 consecutive months of output slowdown, but that forms only a small part of a larger industry picture by which global growth in car sales has seen significant challenges, brought on in part by the trade tensions between the US and China, as well as the growing electric car market spearheaded by the likes of Tesla and also tougher environmental controls.
“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,” Mr Hawes concluded.