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Summer shutdowns pull UK car production 20 percent lower in August

25 September 2014

British car production fell by more than 20 percent in August because of the timing of holidays and repairs to a major plant but output so far in 2014 remains ahead of last year, an industry body said on Thursday.

Car production fell last month by 22 percent, with 71,000 cars built in Britain against 91,000 in August 2013, according to the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) which said major factories shut for longer than last year.

Britain’s biggest facility, Nissan’s factory at Sunderland in northeast England, closes every summer for two weeks. This year, Nissan said an extra week of that period fell in August rather than July.

The plant, which built one in three of Britain’s 1.5 million cars in 2013, produced an average of 2,000 cars a day last year, meaning the extra week in August is likely to have represented a fall of around 10,000 vehicles.

Repairs to presses cut production by a further 7,400 cars last month according to Nissan, meaning the marque accounted for the bulk of the decline in August.

Car production overall has risen year-on-year in Britain since the financial crisis of 2008-9 during which output and sales nosedived, prompting the government to support the industry through a car scrappage scheme.

So far this year, output is up 1 percent with SMMT CEO Mike Hawes saying he was confident Britain was on course to continue its strong performance despite the drop last month.

“The UK automotive sector in the midst of a renaissance,” he said.

“Global demand for quality UK-built products is at an unprecedented level, with significant investments into UK production facilities from government and industry.”

Further growth is expected from new models including BMW’s Mini 5 door and Jaguar Land Rover’s Jaguar XE, launched earlier this month, as well as from models rolled out in the last year such as Honda’s Civic Tourer estate.

Britain is expected to build 2 million cars in 2017 according to SMMT forecasts, surpassing an all-time high of 1.92 set in 1972.

Article Reproduced from MSN Money

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