Car production slumped by a third last month as the motor industry was increasingly hit by the economic downturn, new figures have shown.

The number of cars built in factories in the UK was 97,604, down by 33% on November last year, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said.

Almost 1.4 million cars have been built this year, a 2.7% fall on the same period last year, the figures showed.
Commercial vehicle production slumped by 50% last month.

The SMMT said the rapid slowdown in output was caused by falls in domestic and export demand for vehicles and officials repeated their call for "urgent support" to restore demand and loosen credit restrictions.

Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich factory in Birmingham will cease production for three weeks over Christmas and new year. Workers, who finish for their holiday this Friday, will not make any cars until January 12.

Manufacturing at Solihull and Castle Bromwich is being curtailed as the Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover battles to avoid stockpiling vehicles, with the sector facing its worst sales for decades.

The prolonged standstill mirrors the festive shutdown at stablemate Land Rover, with Lode Lane closing for Christmas at the end of December 23 until January 12, an extra week.

Washwood Heath vanmaker LDV will not resume production until January 20 after a five-week lay-off.