Production of cars in the UK declined by 47.5% in December, and was down 5.7% for the full year 2008, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
|UK car production. Click to enlarge.|
Commercial vehicle production fell 56.7% in December, with a full year decrease of 5.9%. Full year 2008 output for all vehicles was on par with 2006 levels, and SMMT expects further declines.
Exports account for 75% of all UK vehicle production, serving more than 100 markets around the world, according to Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.
The automotive industry is of strategic economic and social importance, reflected in the measures to support the industry being discussed by governments across Europe and around the world. SMMT has been in close discussion with UK government on the urgent need to improve access to credit and kick-start demand in the market, in order to sustain valuable industrial capability during this exceptionally difficult period.—Paul Everitt