Production pressures

The UK car industry experienced a 55.3 per cent drop in production in April 2009, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).



A total of 68,258 cars were made in April 2009 and approximately 56,267 were exported. The figure for total vehicle production during the month was down 56.5 per cent, however, commercial vehicle production saw the sharpest decline with year-to-date production down 63.6 per cent to 29,950.



April’s results reflect increasingly difficult times for the UK car industry, which is now hoping to recover losses following the introduction of the government’s scrappage scheme.



Despite an initial row over how the industry will share costs, Paul Everitt, chief executive of the SMMT, is confident that the scrappage incentive will shore-up volumes but stated that recovery may be protracted.



He said: ‘With the scrappage incentive scheme fully operational, industry is optimistic about the positive impact this will have on the market and on UK production facilities. Despite the current difficulties, the UK must prepare for the return of global growth and government support for the industry is an essential part of the process.’