Brexit shutdown chaos causes UK car production to stutter in April

British car output fell by almost 50% last month, as factories shut up shop in preparation for a Brexit that failed to materialise after the deadline was extended at the eleventh hour.

UK car production fell by 44.5% in April with around 57,000 fewer vehicles built, as factories across British shutdown in preparation for Brexit that never happened after lawmakers opted to extend the March 29 deadline at the last minute.

Manufacturing for domestic and overseas markets fell by 43.7% and 44.7% respectively, leading to April becoming the eleventh consecutive month of production decline for the British car industry, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

‘Prolonged instability has done untold damage, with the fear of ‘no deal’ holding back progress, causing investment to stall, jobs to be lost and undermining our global reputation,’ SMMT CEO Mike Hawes said in a statement.

An ‘extraordinary month’ for the British car industry

The SMMT once again has called for British lawmakers to take urgent action to end the Brexit deadlock and avoid a no-deal scenario to prevent further devastation after what another has been ‘extraordinary month’ for British car makers.

In April, just 70,971 cars rolled off production lines, representing a 44.5% year-on-year decline as factory shutdowns took effect in many plants across the UK in preparation for a Brexit that never came.

No-deal Brexit must be avoided to save British car makers

The Brexit shutdown of factories by British car makers was part of a contingency plans designed to mitigate the impact of the UK leaving the EU customs union and single market.

But the last-minute extension of Article 50 threw a wrench in car makers best laid plans and only served to accelerate a downward trend in car output, driven by slowing demand in domestic and overseas markets like the EU, China and the US.

‘Provided the UK leaves the EU with a favourable deal and substantial transition period, and notwithstanding any escalation of global trade tensions, the decline in volumes is expected to ease by the end of the year, as new models come on stream and production lines remain active over the usual summer shutdown months,’ the SMMT said.


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