UK engine manufacturing declined 1.7% in January to 238,193 units built.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said the decline was driven by a 7.9% fall in foreign market demand with 140,418 engines made for export.

Manufacture of motors for domestic use rose, however, by 8.8% to 97,775.

The rest of 2020 does not bode well for the UK engine making tally, regardless of any post-Brexit trade deal which may be struck – the current state of play is the UK threatening to 'walk away' in June if the EU tries to include its own regulations in the deal as a condition of free trade.

Ford's Bridgend plant laid off 1,700 workers last year and was due to stop production of a 1.5-litre motor this month.

Ford said at the time of its closure announcement factors behind the proposed closure in Wales include significant underutilisation of the plant, driven by the impending end of engine production for Jaguar Land Rover, the cessation of the previous generation Ford GTDi 1.5-litre engine, and reduced global demand for the new generation GTDi and Pfi 1.5-litre engine.

Manufacture of engines supplied to Jaguar Land Rover ceases in September 2020.