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SMMT: Exports drive UK car manufacturing in November as domestic demand falters

UK car manufacturing fell -4.6% in November, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 161,490 cars left British factories last month, driven by overseas orders, which rose 1.3%.

In November, exports reached their highest proportion of output this year at 85.0% but production for the home market continued to falter, falling for the fourth month in a row. It dropped -28.1%, the largest decline in 2017, as consumer confidence decreased and speculation over negative government policies towards diesel affected the market.

Year-to-date, more than 1.5 million cars have rolled off production lines, with nearly eight out of 10 destined for one of 160 global markets. While export volumes remain stable, production for the home market is down -9.0%, resulting in overall output falling -2.0% since January.

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.”


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