The British car industry faces losing output worth more than £8 Billion due to the coronavirus outbreak.
It suffered a production drop in March of a third and fell to its lowest level since 2009, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders thursday.
Britain’s biggest exporter of goods which employs more than 800,000 people saw factories and dealerships begin to close from mid March with only some having set reopening dates for May.
Automakers around the world have warned of the scale of the challenge affecting manufacturers already struggling to deal with tougher emissions rules, the hit to diesel sales and the cost of electrification and autonomous technology.
In Britain, volumes fell by an annual 37.6% to 78,767 vehicles in March and the sector, which made 1.3 million cars last year, faces a loss of more than 250,000 cars and vans, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.
“To get production lines rolling, we need a package of measures that supports the entire industry,” said SMMT CEO Mike Hawes.
“This will include new workplace guidance, additional measures to ease cash flow and help furloughed colleagues back to work, as well as demand-side measures to help encourage customers back into the market.”
UK engineering manufacturing
Data for March 2020
UK commercial vehicle (CV) production fell -41.8% in March, with 5,219 units leaving production lines, according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Some 3,807 fewer vans, trucks, taxis and buses left factory gates than in the same month last year, as nationwide coronavirus lockdown measures forced plants to close partway through the month.
Brazilian banks have demanded six international car manufacturers give them collateral in exchange for emergency loans to restart vehicle production.
But the car makers have declined and want further talks with lenders to secure funds for assembly plants, components suppliers as well as dealers.