Official figures have shown UK car production fell by a third in November, prompting manufacturers to call for urgent financial help.
Just 97,604 cars were made in the UK last month, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said, 33.3% fewer than in November 2007. Car production is also down 2.7% over the year to date.
The news follows months of falling demand for new cars and plant closures across the automotive sector.
Car giants Nissan, Honda, General Motors and Chrysler have all announced major cuts in production as they attempt to weather the economic storm.
Challenges for the car industry
SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said the car industry is facing ‘unprecedented challenges’ and called for urgent action to support it.
‘The sector has seen falls in demand, extended plant closures and the first signs of redundancies in the supply chain,’ he said.
‘Without swift action and the ability to access credit and finance, significant damage will be done to the nation’s industrial capability – leaving the UK poorly equipped to take advantage of any global growth when it returns.’
Jaguar Land Rover
Everitt’s warning came as Business Secretary Lord Mandelson confirmed that Jaguar Land Rover has been in talks with ministers over possible state assistance.
However, Mandelson warned the government does not have ‘an open chequebook’ to help out ailing firms.
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