British car plants produced more than 5,000 fewer vehicles in June compared with the same month last year, industry figures showed yesterday.
Total output dipped by 3.5 per cent to 139,326 units, the Office of National Statistics said.
Car production for the first six months of the year was 5.8 per cent below the 2005 figure at 799,518, a shortfall of nearly 50,000.
Commercial vehicle production was 6.6 per cent down at 17,044 trucks, vans, buses and coaches in June and 3.6 per cent adrift at 106,121 on the year to date, the figure showed.
Cars built for export - 76.7 per cent of the total - fell by 4.4 per cent to 106,823 last month, while the figure for the first half of the year was just 0.8 per cent down at 608,837.
Seasonally adjusted figures for the second quarter of the year showed that total car production in the UK rose by 0.4 per cent, the ONS said. Production of vehicles built for sale in the UK fell by 18.6 per cent during the period while export output rose by 0.8 per cent. The British car market, in line with a number of other major European markets, has fallen this year from its recent highs.
Christopher Macgowan, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said the current British International Motor Show, which has seen a number of new British car unveiled, has shown "it is not all doom and gloom in the UK car industry".
"For commercial vehicle production export markets continue to sustain high levels," Mr Macgowan said.
"Output for the home market has taken a bit of a knock recently following the rush to beat the digitech deadline in May.
"But a slower June may well also have something to do with plants preparing for the introduction of new models, like the new Ford Transit in Southampton."
Separately yesterday, Nissan announced that it reached a major milestone at the end of June with the production of its 100 millionth vehicle.
Established in 1933, Japan's second biggest carmaker behind Toyota had built 100,140,000 vehicles as at the end of June.
Nearly 76 million were built in Japan and 23.5 million came from Nissan's overseas plants, including its UK factory at Washington, Tyne & Wear, which is rated one of the most efficient in the world.