[ferro-alloys.com]British car production fell by a substantial 19.6% year on year in November, with 129,030 units manufactured, according to figures released Friday by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
"In a continuation of recent trends, weaker demand in the UK and in key European and Asian export markets was exacerbated by the ongoing impact of new regulation alongside planned model and technology changes," SMMT said.
While domestic production fell by 1.9% in the month, exports saw a sharper 22.8% drop, falling for the fifth month in a row.
Just over 105,000 cars were exported to global markets in November, still representing around eight in every 10 cars leaving British factories, SMMT 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," said Mike Hawes, SMMT's chief executive.
"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," he said.
"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," he added.
For the year to date, more than 1.4 million cars have been built in the UK overall, down 8.2% from the first 11 months of 2017, with export volumes down 75,085 units and output for the domestic market down 54,143 units.
Commenting on the SMMT figures, Stuart Apperley, director and head of UK automotive at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, noted that "the slowdown in China and the USA is adding to the pressure on those firms that manufacture for those or all markets."
Ongoing uncertainty about the future of diesel in major markets around the world "has put car sales into reverse," he added.
(S&P Global Platts)