Car industry analysts have outlined the compound challenge facing the UK’s car sector following the publication of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ half-year figures. The stats show that the first half of 2020 yielded the lowest level of UK car manufacturing since the 1950s. Edwin Kemp, head of automotive strategy at KPMG, commented that the SMMT’s June 2020 new car manufacturing analysis is a harbinger for businesses’ likely descent into insolvency throughout the automotive supply chain. Peter Barnes, head of automotive at global legal business, DWF, added that the challenges facing the UK automotive industry add up to a perfect storm for the sector.
UK car manufacturing output declined -48.2 per cent in June, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders figures reveal. Only 56,594 units were produced in the month. The SMMT revealed that the 381,357 cars produced in the first half of 2020 represent the weakest six months of UK manufacturing since 1954. This is -42.8 per cent down on 2019’s first half, with more than 285,000 units fewer produced. 11,349 jobs have been lost across manufacturing and retail during the pandemic. The SMMT warns that the fear of Brexit tariffs could endanger more jobs without dedicated restart support. The society called for greater urgency in talks to secure an ambitious free trade agreement with the European Union. Its latest survey data shows nine in 10 firms are missing clarity of information to allow them to prepare for the end of the transition to the new ongoing relationship between the UK and EU.
While UK car manufacturing is beginning to reopen production lines after producing just 197 units in April, Andrew Burn, partner and head of Automotive at KPMG, said the road ahead is far from clear, despite the UK’s car dealerships being given the green light to open. Export markets, uncertainty about demand, and the challenge of cross-border supply chains all provide significant headwinds for the country’s car makers.
April car production was basically non-existant in the UK. The country’s output for the month was the lowest since the Second World War, down -99.7 per cent, according to Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures. The coronavirus lockdown forced plants to close, meaning just 197 premium, luxury and sports cars left factory gates in the month. These were models that had been assembled prior to shutdowns with only finishing touches needed.
Volkswagen’s (VW) main Wolfsburg plant in Germany has restarted vehicle production after a period of shutdown due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. David Leggett, automotive analyst at GlobalData, said the move is a “welcome sign of a corner being turned in Germany,” but that the low level of production is indicative of the difficulties facing the sector in emerging from shutdowns.
The shutdowns and deteriorating demand in the automotive sector have caused GlobalData to revise its North American and European light vehicle (LV) production forecasts for 2020 and beyond. This is a stark illustration of how serious the COVID-19 crisis, which has caused sales to whither and shuttered manufacturing plants, is becoming for the automotive industry, says data and analytics company, GlobalData.
After a period of sweeping announcements by European automakers that they are halting production at European plants for several weeks, Calum MacRae, automotive analyst at GlobalData, has quantified potential effects on industry forecasting.
Production at several Toyota factories in Europe has been suspended as a result of the coronavirus and its social and economic impact upon the region, and other facilities will be shuttered by the end of this week. Toyota Motor Europe (TME) says it decided to halt production for a number of reasons linked to the safety and security of its employees and stakeholders. In particular, it has needed to respond to short-term uncertainties in sales, logistics and supply chains resulting from lock-down measures implemented by various national and regional authorities.
British car production fell -2.1 per cent in January 2020, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures reveal. As well as being the fifth consecutive month of decline, with 118,314 units produced, UK car production has now fallen in 19 of the last 20 months. The majority (82.7 per cent) of these cars were built for export worldwide.
UK car production fell -14.2 per cent in 2019, to 1,303,135 units, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), with a -6.4 per cent drop in December rounding off a third year of decline. Output was affected by multiple factors, including weakened consumer and business confidence at home, slower demand in key overseas markets, a number of significant model production changes and a shift from diesel across Europe. Factory shutdowns in the spring and autumn, timed to mitigate expected disruption arising from the anticipated departure of the UK from the EU on 29 March and 31 October, also had a marked effect.
Car production in the UK fell by 16.5 per cent year-on-year in November, with figures from the Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showing that 107,753 units were manufactured during the month. Output for home and overseas markets declined 26.6 per cent and 14.2 per cent respectively.
UK car manufacturing output fell -4.0 per cent in October, with 134,752 units rolling off production lines, 5,622 fewer than October 2018, new Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures show. British car production has now fallen in 16 of the last 17 months, with August the outlier. ‘No deal’ Brexit contingency shutdowns earlier in the year artificially boosted output that month.
With fewer than 20 days to go before the UK is due to leave the EU, the British automotive industry is urging an end to talk of ‘no deal’ and for all sides to focus energies on an orderly withdrawal to safeguard jobs and the sector’s long-term survival. The call comes as the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) publishes the results of a new survey revealing the escalating fears of an industry dependent on free and frictionless trade with the EU.
Another blow on the automotive industry’s chin as we inch closer towards a no-deal Brexit. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has released its latest UK manufacturing figures, and they make a depressing read. British car manufacturing output fell by more than a fifth in the first half of 2019, while commercial vehicle production was down more than 16 per cent and engine production almost 11 per cent. KPMG considers these numbers “worrying.”
British car manufacturing output -44.5 per cent in April, according to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Just 70,971 cars rolled off production lines during the month as factory shutdowns, rescheduled to mitigate against the expected uncertainty of a 29 March Brexit, took effect in many plants across the UK.