UK car manufacturing fell in April, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 122,116 cars were made in the month, a -18.2% decrease on April 2016, as the late Easter bank holiday affected production.
Despite the decline, year-to-date production remains strong with 593,796 cars made so far in 2017 – a 1.0% increase on the same period last year – reaching its highest level for the first four months of the year since 2000.
Demand from overseas buyers continues to drive growth, up 3.5% so far this year and offsetting a fall at home of -7.0%. In total 76.8% of all cars made in the UK since January have been shipped abroad, with the majority going into the EU.
The news comes as SMMT publishes its priorities for the next government following the general election in June. UK Automotive Priorities, Securing the Strength of the UK Automotive Industry 2017 – 2022 sets out what is required to ensure the ongoing success of a crucial sector that supports 814,000 jobs nationwide, one that has a turnover of £71.6 billion every year.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Car production fell significantly in April due to the later Easter bank holiday weekend which reduced the number of active production days that month and also due to unplanned production adjustments. Overall, British car manufacturing remains in good health with the production outlook still very positive and significant new models due to go into UK production shortly. To guarantee future growth and investment into our industry and its vital supply chain, however, we need the next government to safeguard the conditions that have made us globally competitive, keeping us open and trading and delivering an ambitious industrial strategy for our sector.”