UK Car Production Shrinks by One Third in March Due to Shutdowns

UK Car Production Shrinks by One Third in March Due to Shutdowns

Posted Thursday, April 30, 2020 by
Arslan Butt • 1 min read

Car production in the UK shrank by over one-third during March as the coronavirus pandemic forced the government to implement lockdown measures and close down factories. According to data released by the SMMT, a little over 78,000 vehicles were manufactured during March, over 47,000 less than during March 2019.

The slump in car production was the worst seen since 2009, when demand had declined severely due to the financial crisis. Brexit uncertainties, global trade tensions, rising demand for electric vehicles and emission controversies had already kept the car manufacturing industry under strain for several months, which have now been compounded significantly by the raging pandemic.

Car makers around the world have already reported a sharp plunge in sales in the wake of the crisis, fueled by the shutdowns. This is likely to worsen in the coming months as the world economy slips into recession and dents consumer demand further.

Car manufacturers in the UK are planning to restart their operations by around mid-May with strict social distancing measures but will still lose around £8.2bn as per estimates by analysts. According to chief executive at SMMT, Mike Hawes, “Government emergency measures are helping keep many companies afloat and thousands of people in jobs, but liquidity remains a major concern and will become even more stretched as the industry begins to restart.”

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