British car production falls 18.2 percent on Brexit worries

British car production dropped 18.2 percent in January on a yearly basis, as Brexit uncertainty continued to hit consumer confidence, according to data published Thursday by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Figures showed car production in Britain slid to 120,649 units in January, down 18.2 percent compared with a year earlier, marking the eighth successive month of decline.

Demand decreased at home and overseas, with down 4.8 percent in the domestic market, falling 21.4 percent to 93,781 units in overseas orders.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of SMMT, said “another month of decline is a serious concern. The industry faces myriad challenges, from falling demand in key markets, to escalating global trade tensions and the need to stay at the forefront of future technology.”

“But, the clear and present danger remains the threat of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, which is monopolising time and resources, undermining competitiveness,” he added.

“‘No deal’ must be taken off the table immediately and permanently,” he said.

Meanwhile, a recent SMMT survey showed nearly a third of automotive companies had postponed or cancelled UK investment decisions due to Brexit, with one in five having already lost business as a direct consequence.

The survey noted that over half were executing contingency plans, with 12.4 percent relocating operations overseas.