The UK car industry demands government clarity on Brexit, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said, as it reported a 13.7% slump in vehicle production.
In June, UK car production declined by 13.7%, slipping to 136,901 cars, falling for the consecutive month. In the first half of this year, car production fell by 2.9% to 866,656 units.
The export market, which represented 78.4% of car production in June, fell by 13% year-on-year to 107,270 units. The home market suffered a slightly larger decline, with units falling by 15.9% to 29,631 cars.
Despite the production declines, the SMMT said performance in June 2017 was the second highest for 12 years. The SMMT said that production is forecast to rally in the second half of the year, and said that assuming a Brexit deal, production would narrowly miss 2 million cars by 2020.
The SMMT warned that Brexit could cause output to fall in 2019, and that leaving the customs union and using WTO rules could drag production down 10% to 2016 levels. In June, the group warned against a Brexit ‘cliff edge’ which could leave the motor industry at risk.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “At the heart of this [success] has been the free and frictionless trade we’ve enjoyed with the EU – by far our biggest customer and supplier.
“The UK must seek an interim deal which maintains the single market and customs union membership until we have in place the complex new agreement sought with the EU.”