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UK car manufacturing suffers least productive year since 1984

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Martin Armstrong

As with most industries, 2020 was a bad year for UK car manufacturing. In fact, it was a very bad year. The latest output figures released by SMMT today put the sector down at a level last seen in the 80's. In total, 920,928 cars rolled off the production lines, representing a decrease of almost 30 percent compared to 2019 and troublingly close to the 908,906 chalked up in 1984.

Underscoring the graveness of the situation, Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: "These figures, the worst in a generation, reflect the devastating impact of the pandemic on UK automotive production, with Covid lockdowns depressing demand, shuttering plants and threatening lives and livelihoods." Adding: "The industry faces 2021 with more optimism, however, with a vaccine being rolled out and clarity on how we trade with Europe, which remains by far our biggest market." Indeed, the EU is by far the largest importer of UK-produced cars, accounting for 54 percent of those made in 2020. In comparison, second-placed United States took 18 percent and China were third with just 8 percent.

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