UK car production down 30.9 percent in 2009

UK car production fell 30.9% in 2009 from the previous year following the collapse in the global car market, meaning just under a million cars were made in the UK last year, figures from the SMMT have shown.

The fall in production came despite a strong December, which saw production rebound by more than 58% when compared with December 2008.

However, the SMMT warned that 2010 would remain tough for manufacturers.

“The significant rise in December vehicle production is welcome news and signals some greater stability across global automotive markets,” said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt. “We expect the year ahead to be extremely challenging, but the return of economic growth and a competitive exchange rate will help UK producers. Car and commercial vehicle production remain well below pre-recession levels and it is essential that there continues to be a focus on creating more and better priced finance for businesses and consumers.” said Paul Everitt, chief executive of the SMMT.

Car production fell globally last year in response to the collapse in demand for cars following the economic downturn.

However, the UK government’s car scrappage scheme, introduced in May and extended in September, has been credited with boosting demand.

The SMMT estimates the scheme, which is expected to run out of funding in February, has been responsible for about 20 percent of all new car registrations since its introduction in May last year.

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