Car production falls 10% in May

The fall comes after car manufacturers closed down their plants for several days in May, a month later than usual, for upgrades to production lines.

UK car production dropped almost 10pc last month as manufacturers closed down their plants for several days in May, a month later than usual.

Car manufacturers regularly close their plants for 4-5 days in spring, usually April, to allow for production lines to be upgraded.

This year several manufacturers chose to have their spring shutdown in May, which resulted in a 9.8pc fall in production to 116,655, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). While a dip was expected the numbers were slightly worse than analysts’ forecasts.

Mark Fulthorpe, director at IHS Automotive, said the fall in production last month was “not cause for concern” and added that the “fundamentals for the car industry remained in place”. He said he expected the sector to grow 2.1pc more this year than in 2013.

Year-to-date car production is still up 3.5pc compared to 2013, SMMT said. Mike Hawes, chief executive at the motor industry’s trade body, said he also expected production to grow as demand and investment in the sector picked up.

“The prospects for the coming months and years, however, are still bright; new UK-built models will benefit from growing demand across Europe, while significant investments in UK manufacturing operations are moving closer to production readiness,” he said.

The automotive industry is a vital part of the UK economy accounting for more than £60bn turnover and has been a key driver of the recovery, as car manufacturers look to increase their production of vehicles in the UK.

Nissan last year announced it would create 400 new jobs to allow 24-hour production to begin in Sunderland from this year, while Jaguar Land Rover also announced 1,700 new jobs at its Solihull factory.

[The Telegraph]