Belfast Telegraph

Late Easter bank holiday blamed for 18% fall in car production last month

Car production fell by almost a fifth last month compared to a year ago, but the outlook for the industry is still positive, a report shows.

Around 122,000 cars were built, 18% fewer than April 2016, with the reduction blamed on the late Easter bank holiday.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said car production in the year so far remained strong at almost 600,000, up 1% on the same period last year, and the highest level for the first four months of the year since 2000.

Demand from overseas buyers was up by 3.5%, offsetting a 7% fall in the home market.

Almost four out of five cars made in the UK this year have been shipped overseas, mainly to European Union countries.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, 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."

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