just-auto.com

UK: First half car production shows sharp decline

By just-auto.com editorial team | 20 July 2001

Total UK car production in June fell by 15.3 per cent over last year to 132,348 according to provisional figures released today by the Office of National Statistics. Production for the home market fell by 9.6 per per cent while output for export was down 18.5 per cent.

Over the first half of the year, car production declined by 18.2 per cent over last year to stand at a little under 759,000 units. Despite the strength of production in recent years, there are concerns that the viability of the UK as a production base for volume car production is in doubt.

Mark Fulthorpe of CSM Worldwide commented: "These figures are not wholly unexpected. The Vauxhall Vectra is now on single shift at Luton and Ford Fiesta is on single shift at Dagenham prior to run-out. The overall comparison with the first half of last year was bound to show a significant drop. On top of that, IBC's Frontera output seems to have been adversely affected by the introduction of the new GM/Renault van at the plant. And Honda seems to be struggling too, with the Accord not selling too well in Europe."

SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said, 'The drop in car production over the first six months of the year has been disappointing but we need to guard against long-term pessimism. This is still a very exciting time for manufacturers and car buyers alike with a host of innovative British-built products like the Jaguar X-Type, MINI and MG sports' cars coming on line, after a long period of restructuring.

He added, 'We should also remind ourselves that Nissan and Toyota's UK plants are the envy of Europe, topping the productivity table, and Honda has just announced it is to start building vehicles at its second factory in Swindon. This speaks volumes about the UK's position as a global centre of car production and the future looks very bright indeed.'

UK car production

qwr
Jun-00
Jun-01
% change
YTD 2000
YTD 2001
% change
Total
156,261
132,348
-15.3
927,551
758,927
-18.0
Home
55,621
50,302
-9.6
319,955
303,252
-5.0
% of Total
35.6
38.0
faw
34.5
40.0
fq
Export
100,640
82,046
-18.5
607,596
455,720
-25.0
% of Total
64.0
62.0
eg
66.0
60.0
aef


To view related research reports, please follow the links below:-

The world's car manufacturers: A financial and operating review

A Profile Of The UK Motor Industry

Automotive regional report: Western Europe