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UK Car Production Continues To Decline Sharply: SMMT

ukcarproduction sept25 30jul20 lt

UK car production continued to decline sharply in June as strict social distancing measures and weak demand across global markets restrict output, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, or SMMT, said Thursday.

Car output decreased 48.2 percent year-on-year to 56,594 units in June.

While June marked a vast improvement on April and May, when only a combined 5,511 cars were built, the performance rounded off the worst first six months for UK car production since 1954, said SMMT.

Reflecting the gradual easing of the lockdown, production for domestic market plunged 63.8 percent in June.

Production for exports declined 45 percent in June, although overseas orders accounted for nine out of 10 vehicles built as key global markets, including in the EU, China, US, South Korea and Japan, opened for business earlier than the UK.

Further, the lobby observed that car production losses could total 1.46 million units by 2025, if no FTA is in place by the end of 2020, forcing the sector to trade on WTO terms with full tariffs applied.

In the first half of the year, car production decreased 42.8 percent from the same period last year.

Car production for this year is seen at just over 880,000, which is around 32 percent lower than made in 2019. If realized, this would be the lowest total since 1957, the SMMT noted.

Recovery is difficult for all companies, but automotive is unique in facing immense technological shifts, business uncertainty and a fundamental change to trading conditions while dealing with coronavirus, Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said.

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