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Financial News: UK Car Output Plunges As Covid-19 Halts Auto

UK Car Output Plunges As Covid-19 Halts Auto Production

04/30/2020 - 07:21:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - British car production declined in March as coronavirus pandemic forced factories to close, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, or SMMT, reported Thursday. Car production declined 37.6 percent on a yearly basis in March. Only 78,767 vehicles left factory gates in March.

Output for the domestic market declined 36.8 percent, and that for exports fell 37.8 percent.

Demand was particularly weak in major export destinations, including the US and EU where many key markets were shut for the majority of the month.

However, the lobby noted some encouraging signs with shipments to China rising 2.3 percent as lockdown measures began to ease.

In the first quarter, overall auto production fell 13.8 percent to 319, 252 units.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said UK automotive is fundamentally strong but, as these figures show, it is being tested like never before, with each week of shutdown costing the sector and economy billions.

Government's 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, he noted.

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