UK April car production falls the fastest in 30 months

The production of cars in the UK was down almost a fifth in April as against the same month of 2016, with drop being attributed to Easter.

According to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), around 122,000 cars were built over the course of the month, as against 149,000 during April last year.

The timing of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend has been identified as a potential reason for the decline - Easter this year fell three weeks after its timing in 2016, when it was celebrated on 27 March.

According to the SMMT, the holiday had cut the number of active production days available for manufacturers over the course of April.

But the same trend was seen in new cars sales figures for last month.

According to SMMT data published earlier in May, registrations for new cars were down by 19.8 per cent as motorists advanced purchases to March to avoid new vehicle excise duty rates, which became effective on 1 April.

According to Mike Hawes, the chief executive of the SMMT, despite the poor performance last month, the UK car industry was doing well, with almost 600,000 new cars built so far this year.

UK car industry had been in favour of remaining in the EU and SMMT members have been concerned about possible tariffs being imposed on parts imported from the EU after Brexit.

The PA Consulting Group said the cost of assembling a car in the UK could increase by £2,370 in the event of a ''hard Brexit'', which might encourage some manufacturers to move production out of the country. The average UK-built car has around 6,000 parts, the majority of which came from the EU and passed in and out of the country several times during the production process.