The closure of MG Rover contributed heavily to another fall in output from British car factories last month.
The loss of production at Longbridge accounted for more than 90 per cent of the July shortfall and all of the output shrinkage for the first seven months of the year.
Data from the Office for National Statistics yesterday revealed a 7.3 per cent drop in production to 130,274 units compared with 140,497 in July last year.
It was the third monthly downturn in a row and left output for the year so far down by 3.5 per cent, or 35,090 units, at 979,067.
Production for the home market fell by nine per cent to 36,393 in July and was 10.3 per cent adrift at 271,877 for the year to date.
The fall in export production was less pronounced. Factories shipped 93,881 cars overseas in July, a fall of 6.6 per cent, while year-to-date output was just 0.6 per cent down at 707,190.
According to trade body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the loss of MG Rover accounted for 93 per cent of July's loss of output.
The annual summer shutdown also contributed the the lower production figures.
"Production in July was dominated by the loss of manufacturing at Longbridge, pitted alongside the start of the annual summer shut-down at UK car makers," said SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan.
"Exclude MG Rover from the figures and you see a year-to-date increase from the other car manufacturers."
British van and truck makers, including Birminghambased LDV, saw production fall by 4.4 per cent in July but their decline was a reverse image of that of the carmakers.
Strong domestic markets produced a 20.4 per increase in domestic production, while export sales fell by 16.2 per cent.
Total commercial vehicle production fell by 4.4 per cent to 14,247 last month and by 0.5 per cent to 124 , 335 year-to-date.
"The UK numbers are very good," Mr Macgowan said yesterday.
"Although the strong export production in 2004 has now levelled off, home production in the second quarter of 2005 is supported by strong demand for vans and trucks and looks very encouraging."
Commercial vehicle production figures are studied closely because of the clues they yield to the state of the British economy. A rising trend indicates that companies are confident enough about their future prospects to spend on new vehicles.