UK demand for British-built cars plummeted by more than 28 percent in November 2017, as the effects of Brexit uncertainty and the demonisation of diesel continued to have an effect in showrooms.
Even a 1.3 percent rise in exports wasn’t enough to stop an overall 4.6 percent decline in UK car production. 161,490 vehicles were built here in November – and the proportion going overseas for export is now up to 85 percent.
November’s decline in home demand was the largest yet seen in 2017, and mirrors the slowdown in new car sales. It means that, year to date, home demand for British-built cars is down 9 percent, leading to an overall 2 percent decline in overall UK automotive manufacturing.
1.25 million of the 1.57 million cars built in Britain this year have been exported overseas, says the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Brexit uncertainty, coupled with confusion over diesel taxation and air quality plans, continues to impact domestic demand for new cars and, with it, production output.
“Whilst it is good to see exports grow in November, this only reinforces how overseas demand remains the driving force for UK car manufacturing. Clarity on the nature of our future overseas trading relationships, including details on transition arrangements with the EU, is vital for future growth and success.”
The SMMT also wants to see clarity over “negative government policies towards diesel”. In November, diesel cars sales declined 30 percent.