UK car manufacturing fell 6.3% in March to 126,909 units. Volumes during Q1 2013 declined 2.0% to 393,416 units. Early Easter and weak European new car demand has impacted Q1 output. Car output for the home market increased 22.5% in Q1 2013. Strong investment intentions suggest production will rise over the full year and beyond.
“Car output fell 2% in Q1 2013 as UK vehicle manufacturers continue to grapple with weak demand in Europe,” said Mike Baunton, SMMT Interim Chief Executive. “Other factors such as extended facility holidays during the Easter period may have also impacted production volumes in March, during which output declined 6%. Despite ongoing difficult market conditions, UK automotive manufacturing is expected to grow overall in 2013 and beyond, fuelled by significant investment from global automotive companies.”
Q1 sees CV output fall, despite rise for the home market
Commercial vehicle (CV) output fell 18.8% in Q1 to 23,854 units. The decline followed an 18.7% drop in March, the ninth monthly fall in the past year. Output for the home market rose 5% in Q1, but could not offset the impact of weak export volumes. “The commercial realities of weak export markets, notably within Europe, have resulted in a further slowdown in commercial vehicle output in March and Q1 2013,” said Mike Baunton, SMMT Interim Chief Executive. “Industry anticipates a tough year for CV manufacturers, yet the recent success of the CV Show highlighted many positives in the sector and the importance of the UK road transport sector to the whole economy.”
UK engine manufacturing down 5% in Q1 2013
UK engine manufacturing fell 6.0% in March to 220,032 units. Engine manufacturing during Q1 declined 5.4% to 660,255 units. The slowdown in vehicle demand in Europe has constrained UK engine production. In Q1, the 2.6% rise in output for the home market was unable to offset a 9.8% fall in exports. Significant investment in existing and new plants in the UK should help secure and expand engine manufacturing in the UK.