THE number of new cars built in the UK last year fell by a third to just under 921,000, the lowest total since 1984, latest industry figures reveal.
Output was 920,928 vehicles, a 29.3% fall on 2019, rounding off a “dreadful year”, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief Mike Hawes said.
Pandemic-enforced plant closures and falling consumer demand meant the worst output “in a generation”, he said.
But he said the vaccine roll out and EU trade deal inspired optimism for 2021
Production for UK and export markets fell 30.4% and 29.1% respectively last year. Eight in ten UK-built cars still head overseas, which Mr Hawes said reinforced the importance of tariff-free trade with the EU.
The EU remained the UK’s biggest export destination, taking a 53.5% share, despite volumes falling 30.8% to 400,460 units.
In December, output was down 2.3% to 71,403 vehicles, with some manufacturers, including Honda, affected by border closures and subsequent component supply issues.