UK car production slumps in August

Jaguar Land Rover Evoque manufacture

Car production dropped by 22% last month as a result of manufacturers shutting up shop for the summer, according to the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

SMMT reported that UK factories stopped production for a longer period in 2014 compared to last year.

In August last year the UK produced 91,282 units compared to this year, where only 71,065 were manufactured.

SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes said: “The month of August – typically the quietest of the year – saw a 22.1% drop in car production over 2013 as the 2014 calendar meant some key plants took additional shutdown compared to last year.”

The UK’s biggest car manufacturing site, Nissan Sunderland, experienced a decrease in production by 10,000 after the facility was closed for an extra week in August this year.

Repairs at the site also cut production down by 7,400 units.

Overall car production increased by 1% in the January to August period compared to last year, increasing to 994,949 units.

Hawes added: “Volumes are still strong for the year-to-date, however, with the UK automotive sector in the midst of a renaissance.

“Global demand for quality UK-built products is at an unprecedented level, with significant investments into UK production facilities from government and industry currently being realised.”

Chris Sumner, managing director of FANUC UK: “As we exit quieter summer production months, the UK automotive industry has stalled and production has slowed.

“Optimism remains however, as we’re seeing a notable increase in investment in robot technology and automation as automotive manufacturers seek to kit out new and existing plants in preparation of higher output demands.

“This is a positive step, as the UK remains the lowest user of industrial robotics among technically developed nations in Europe. It is vital that the industry continues to invest in technology purchases if it is to keep pace with European counterparts.

“We’re confident that increased output levels, coupled with job creation, bode well for the sector in the build up to Christmas”

SMMT estimate that in 2017 the UK will produce a record 2m units, beating 1972’s record of 1.92m.