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British automotive output declined by 2.1% to 118,314 units in January compared with 120,890 units during the same month in 2019, according to data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).


There were 20,444 vehicles manufactured in the UK in January, down by 23.9pc from the 26,864 cars produced during January 2019. However, export demand for UK automobiles resulted in 97,870 units being produced for key foreign markets in January, up by 4.1pc from 94,026 units produced for export during the same month last year.


According to Mike Hawes, SMMT’s chief executive, the organization is concerned about declining automobile production following another monthly decrease. He attributed the UK’s weak demand to uncertainty created by Brexit and the general election.


There are fears that the Covid-19 outbreak in China could disrupt the automotive parts supply chain and, consequently, that the UK’s car manufacturing industry is only days away from being crippled. In an interview last month, Jaguar Land Rover’s chief executive Ralph Speth said the company had two weeks worth of parts available and had resorted to flying parts over from China to the UK in suitcases. Speth added that the company wasn’t making any car sales in China, one of its largest markets.

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