Last month, British car factories produced 108,239 cars. This was because exports were down 15% on the same month in 2018. Exports account for four of every five vehicles made in the UK. Production for domestic demand rose 10%.
'The sector is overwhelmingly reliant on exports and the global headwinds are strong,' said Mike Hawes, SMMT CEO.
'Another month of decline for UK car manufacturing is a serious concern. With the UK market also weak, the importance of maintaining the UK's global competitiveness has never been more important,' he said.
Hawes said the industry needs a decision on Brexit quickly. He added that this would 'unlock investment and safeguard the long-term future of a sector which has recently been such an international success story.'
Car makers scaled back UK operations worried that a no-deal split from the EU would be disruptive.
Honda is mothballing a site in Swindon that employs 3,500 people. Nissan no longer plans to build the X-Trail SUV at the country's biggest auto plant in Sunderland.
Ford said in June that its Bridgend engine plant in Wales will close by September next year -- that move is part of a Europe-wide retrenchment. Jaguar Land Rover, Britain's biggest car maker, is building the Jaguar I-Pace SUV, its first full-electric car, in Austria. It is shifting production of the Land Rover Discovery to Slovakia.
Bloomberg contributed to this report which first appeared in Automotive News Europe.