London – A total of 197 cars were produced in the UK in April, as coronavirus lockdowns came into effect. In April 2019, a total of 70,971 vehicles were produced.
Instead of making cars, the UK Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said that a total of 711,495 pieces of personal protective equipment were produced by the car-makers.
Of the cars produced in the UK, 152 were for export, and just 45 for customers at home. The SMMT said that, according to independent analysts, UK car production could fall below 1m units in 2020. This would be lower than 2009 output, and could be as much as a third lower than had been expected in January before the crisis.
UK factories are now in the process of scaling up production on different timescales. The cost to the industry by the end of the year could be as much as £12.5 bn.
'With the UK's car plants mothballed in April, these figures are unsurprising, but they do highlight the tremendous challenge the industry faces with revenues slashed to zero,' said Mike Hawes, SMMT’s CEO. 'We need the government to work with us to accelerate this fundamentally strong sector's recovery, stimulate investment, and safeguard jobs.'