Vehicle production plummets in April

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Production of commercial vehicles fell by 71 per cent in April, while car manufacturing was down 45 per cent as a result of Brexit shutdowns in the motor industry, figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders have revealed.

CV production dropped to 2,162 units from 7,423 the year before. Even so, production for the first four months of the years was still 10.3 per cent up on last year at 29,675.

Car production was down from 127,970 units in April last year to 70,971 this year. For the year to date, production was 22.4 per cent down at 441,260.

Some major motor manufacturers suspended production to avoid the risk of supply chain disruption after 29th March, when the UK was due to leave the European Union.

Although the Brexit shutdowns made April an exceptional month, car production has now declined for 11 months in a row.

The SMMT said: “Provided the UK leaves the EU with a favourable deal and substantial transition period, and notwithstanding any escalation of global trade tensions, the decline in volumes is expected to ease by the end of the year, as new models come on stream and production lines remain active over the usual summer shutdown months.”

But, warned chief executive Mike Hawes: “Prolonged instability has done untold damage, with the fear of ‘no deal’ holding back progress, causing investment to stall, jobs to be lost and undermining our global reputation.”

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