UK auto production down again as industry experts demand Brexit protection

UK auto production fell by 13% in August, according to the Association of Automobile Manufacturers and Distributors (SMMT), reiterating demand for Brexit negotiators to make protection of the sector a priority.

The decline in production is due to a combination of model changes, planned plant closures and new emission standards, the SMMT said.

The trade organization also pointed out that exports remained the main driver of demand for vehicles built in the UK, stressing that this underscored the need to protect the car market in all Brexit agreements.

The latest data mark the third consecutive month of contraction in the automotive industry. Production in the United Kingdom fell by 39%, while cars exported fell by 3.8%, accounting for 82% of total production.

Production has decreased by 5% since the beginning of the year. The SMMT stated that exports continue to support demand – while only 194,887 cars were built for the domestic market in the first eight months of the year (19% compared to 2017), nearly 850,000 been shipped abroad.

Mike Hawes, General Manager of SMMT, said, “The quieter summer months are subject to frequent fluctuations due to the variable time and duration of annual maintenance and retrofit shutdowns.” This instability was exacerbated in August when the industry began to recertify entire model ranges. meet the stricter testing standards in effect on September 1 st.

“While exports, the majority in the EU, continue to stimulate demand, this highlights the importance of an agreement on Brexit to secure this trade.For our industry,” no agreement “is not an option . ”

The SMMT had previously stated that a Brexit without agreement was to be excluded because of the threat it posed to the UK car industry.

Figures compiled by the SMMT show that a Brexit with a peak value of at least £ 5 billion could be taxed.

However, the organization said it would only be the tip of the iceberg in the sector, as these costs could increase the cost of UK-built cars sold in the EU by an average of £ 2,700, which would affect demand, profitability and job creation. “,

Earlier this month, Honda said a no-deal scenario would cost it ten million pounds, while BMW announced it would postpone the planned closure of its mini-platform to Oxford to coincide with the beginning of Brexit in order to minimize the risks. disorder.

Meanwhile, Jaguar Land Rover has put workers at its Castle Bromwich plant in a three-day week because of “lingering headwinds for the auto industry”. Company CEO Ralf Speth warned that tens of thousands of jobs in the UK auto industry were threatened when Brexit, which does not close the deal, takes place

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