Car and commercial vehicle (CV) production fell sharply again last month, it has been revealed.
The number of cars made in the UK slumped by 51.3 per cent to 61,829 in March, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said. Production of trucks, vans and other commercial vehicles was 57.1 per cent down at 8,074 last month.
The March statistics mean that car production for the first three months of this year was down by 56.6 per centcompared with the January-March 2008 period, while CV production has fallen 63 per cent.
Wednesday’s Budget included a “bangers for cash” car-scrappage scheme, with owners of cars ten years old or more getting £2,000 towards the cost of a new model.
SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said today’s production figures show that urgent action is necessary to kick-start demand in the motor industry and the introduction of a UK scrappage incentive scheme is an important first step.
“Efforts to restore confidence and improve access to finance, particularly for companies in the supply chain, are key to sustaining our industrial capability,” Mr Everitt said. “The motor industry has an essential role in the UK’s economic future, but it will be some months before we see any significant increase in output.”
With demand for new cars comparatively low and with car companies having had to cut jobs and reduce production, it was inevitable that today’s figures would show a sharp fall.
The scrappage scheme is not compulsory and will involve car companies having to pay half of the £2,000 incentive.
But a number of companies have already expressed an eagerness to take part in the initiative, Nissan, for example, has agreed to also include cars eight and nine years old in its scheme.