Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan production falls
Coventry-based Jaguar Land Rover, which announced 4500 job losses and factory shutdowns earlier this month, remains the biggest car maker in the UK. Its output fell by 15.6% in 2018 to 449,304 units across its three factories in Castle Bromwich, Halewood and Solihull respectively.
Mini bucked the trend, with a 7% rise. It produced 234,183 cars in its Oxford facility in 2018.
The top British best-sellers worldwide were:
3. Honda Civic
4. Toyota Auris
7. Nissan Juke
8. Range Rover
10. Jaguar F-Pace
The number of diesel cars made in the UK fell by 22% to 561,384 units, while petrol production dropped 3.5%. Alternatively-fuelled vehicle production rose by 41.5% to 142,732 units. The electric Nissan Leaf is built in Sunderland and the plug-in hybrid Range Rover and Range Rover Sport are also made in the UK.
UK exports around the world in 2018
Hawes described output to Europe, which has fallen 7.3%, as “pretty flat” and noted it was “still overwhelming the biggest market.
UK car exports to China suffered the biggest hit in 2018, falling 24.5%.
Growing markets included the USA (+5.3%), making it the UK’s second biggest customer after the EU, Japan (+26%) and South Korea (+23.5%).
According to the SMMT, two-thirds of the UK’s car exports are to Europe or those with preferential EU trade agreements.
A spokesman said: “Time has almost run out to guarantee continuity of any of these arrangements before Brexit, and ‘no deal’ could therefore put more than two-thirds of UK Automotive’s global trade under threat.”
The Brexit effect
Hawes said he hoped that the industry “has not reached the point of no return” in relation to the damage already done since the Brexit referendum.
He said the supply chain is particularly vulnerable, as it quickly feels the effect of falls in manufacturer volume.
Talking about the mood within the industry, he said: “We’re not at the Financial Crisis levels [of 2008]. But the lack of clarity means the mood is incredibly nervous and everybody is increasingly exasperated.
If there is a Brexit transition, Hawes predicts production will fall by a further 20,000 units in 2019. He said it was “impossible to put a number on production under a ‘no deal’ scenario.