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UK Car Production Declines For 12th Month Straight Month: SMMT


UK car production declined for the twelfth straight month in May on sharp contractions in domestic demand and exports, data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, or SMMT, showed Thursday.

Car production plunged 15.5 percent or 21,239 units on a yearly basis in May.

Demand both at home and abroad dropped by double-digits reflecting softening in the UK and key global markets, and the effects of model changes, caused the negative performance to continue, SMMT said.

Production for domestic buyers declined sharply by 25.9 percent, and overseas orders were down 12.6 percent.

The lobby noted that exports accounted for 80.9 percent of all cars made, re-emphasizing the importance of maintaining free and frictionless trade.

The sector is facing multiple seismic challenges simultaneously, namely technological, environmental and economic, Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said.

"The ongoing political instability and uncertainty over our future overseas trade relationships, most notably with Europe, is not helping and, while the industry's fundamentals remain strong, a brighter future is only possible if we secure a deal that can help us regain our reputation as an attractive location for automotive investment," Hawes added. "No deal is not an option."

Car production declined 21 percent with 557,295 units rolling off production lines - almost 150,000 fewer compared with the same period last year.

To a certain extent, the decline indicates the decision by some manufacturers to bring forward summer shutdowns to April in anticipation of the original Brexit date, the lobby observed.

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