British car production slumps 20 pct in H1 amid global instability

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-31 19:46:39|Editor: Wu Qin
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LONDON, July 31 (Xinhua) -- British car production saw a 20-percent year-on-year slump in the first half of 2019 as its car industry faces falling demand worldwide amid a disorderly Brexit and global trade tensions, the latest data showed.

The London-based Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said on Wednesday that the country's car production in the first six months slid to about 1.67 million units.

In terms of June, car manufacturing decreased by 15.2 percent from one year earlier, marking the 13th consecutive month of negative growth.

The number of cars for export plunged by 19.8 percent in June and by 21 percent in the first half, mainly due to weakness of key overseas markets and global trade tensions.

In addition, SMMT revealed that the automotive industry has spent at least 330 million pounds (about 400 million U.S. dollars) for no-deal Brexit preparations.

"Today's figures are the result of global instability compounded by ongoing fear of 'no-deal'," said Mike Hawes, chief executive of SMMT.

"This fear is causing investment to stall, as hundreds of millions of pounds are diverted to Brexit cliff-edge mitigation -- money that would be better spent tackling technological and environmental challenges," Hawes said.

SMMT predicted that a no-deal Brexit would bring some 4.5 billion pounds (5.5 billion dollars) in tariffs cost a year, while putting the sector's profitability and jobs at risk.