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UK car manufacturing holds steady

Date: 28 February 2018   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Just 72 fewer new cars were made in the UK in January this year than in January 2017.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show a negligible 0.05% decline in the market, with 147,481 cars produced.

Exports drove overall volumes, with output for overseas customers rising by 1.5% to a record 119,252 cars.

The SMMT said this was in line with continued recovery across EU markets and followed the launch of several key global models throughout 2017.

The export growth offset a decline in production for the UK market, which fell for the sixth consecutive month, by 6% to 28,229, which the SMMT said reflected falling UK business and consumer confidence, and confusion over government policies on diesel taxation and air quality.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "While it is good to see global appetite for British-built cars reach record levels in January, this only reinforces the industry's increasing reliance on overseas demand.

"Future growth will therefore depend on maintaining our current open trade links, not just with Europe but with key international markets.

"A transitional deal will be an important first step but, in the long term, a seamless relationship between the UK and Europe must be maintained.

"The EU remains the third-largest new car market in the world and, given it is on our doorstep, it is not surprising it accounts for more than half of our global exports."