UK car production down 44.5% last month
The number of cars built in the UK plummeted by almost half in April compared with a year ago, new figures reveal.
Just under 71,000 cars rolled off production lines in the month, down by 44.5% on April last year.
Factory shutdowns, rescheduled to mitigate against the expected uncertainty of Brexit at the end of March, took effect in many plants across the UK, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Manufacturing for domestic and overseas markets fell by 43.7% and 44.7% respectively as most car-makers brought forward, and extended, production stoppages normally scheduled for the summer holiday period.
The SMMT said the shift in shutdown, which cannot be repeated for an October 31 deadline, was part of a raft of "costly and ongoing" contingency measures, including stockpiling, training for new customs procedures and rerouting of logistics.
The report said April's "dismal" performance, the 11th straight month of decline, exacerbated the underlying downward trend, due largely to slowing demand in key international markets, including the EU, China and the US, as well as at home.
In the year to date, 127,240 fewer cars have been built compared with the same period in 2018, which is a decline of more than a fifth.