UK car production nose-dives 59 per cent in Feb

Car production in the UK slumped 59 per cent in February on year-on-year with only 59,777 cars produced. Worse still, production of commercial vehicles plummeted to 71 per cent with just 5,870 vehicles.

The grim record low figures disclosed on Friday by Britain's Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed the largest drop in a single month since 1970, and the fifth straight month of decline.

The big drop in production is caused by weak demand due to global economic crisis. Manufacturers resorted to lay-offs, shut downs and shift cuts to reduce the output.
In December the fall in car production was 49 per cent and in January it rose to 58 per cent. The figures indicate that the gloomy scenario which started last autumn is likely to continue, as experts say, till mid-2010.

"The large fall in February's vehicle production is a direct result of weak demand and the need to protect the highly-skilled workforce and valuable industrial capability in the industry," said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.

"We are effectively in a battle for survival now. The level of demand is a major, major problem." He added.

Paul Everitt called for urgent government action to support the industry and make access to finance and credit easier.