June 26, 2019 / 11:09 PM / 20 days ago

UK car output slumps for 12th month in a row

LONDON (Reuters) - British car production fell by 15.5% in May, the 12th month in a row of declines due to model changes and falling demand at home and abroad, an industry body said on Thursday.

The sector has been hit by a slump in demand for diesel vehicles, new regulations and uncertainty over Brexit in recent months.

Britain churned out 116,035 cars last month, according to data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Output is down 21% so far this year, hit partly by some plants shutting down in April in preparation for a possible disorderly Brexit in March, but Britain’s exit date has been postponed until October.

The SMMT has warned against a “seismic” no-deal Brexit on Halloween, which it said could add billions of pounds in tariffs and cause border disruption, crippling the sector.

“12 consecutive months of decline for UK car manufacturing is a serious concern and underlines yet again the importance of securing a Brexit deal quickly,” said SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes.

Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison

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