UK production falls 17% on diesel squeeze, Brexit

LONDON -- British car production fell by 17 percent last month, hit by new emissions regulations, model changes, trade tensions, and uncertainty over diesel policy and Brexit, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said in a statement. Production stood at 127,051 units following a 19 percent drop in domestic demand and a 16 percent slump in exports, the SMMT said. Stricter emissions rules known as the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) became mandatory on Sept. 1, forcing certain automakers across Europe to halt deliveries of some models that had yet to be re-certified. Britain's car industry is also worried that when the country leaves the European Union next year customs checks and tariffs could be imposed if London and Brussels fail to strike a Brexit deal, adding more costs and red tape. "It has been a turbulent year and the industry needs stability, something which appears elusive given the lack of resolution to Brexit negotiations," said SMMT CEO Mike Hawes. The sector has also suffered due to nosediving demand for diesel and was angered by a British government announcement ahead of next week's budget statement that subsidies offered to those buying plug-in hybrid vehicles will be cut. "The budget next week is the perfect opportunity to stimulate the market, sending consumers and businesses the right signals to encourage the purchase of new cars, which would help bolster economic performance as well as delivering environmental goals," said Hawes. Source :

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