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Cars produced for UK market fall 14% - SMMT

By James Sillars, Business Reporter
The motor industry has taken aim at the Government while reporting a big drop in demand for new cars in the UK.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said the number of vehicles produced in the UK for the domestic market fell by 14.2% last month to almost 31,500.It said total car production in September was 4.1% down, with 153,224 cars produced.Exports, which make up the bulk of business for UK manufacturers, fell by 1.1%.The SMMT said the performance meant that production during the first nine months of 2017 was just over 2% down on the same period last year.It had earlier reported a 9.3% decline in the number of new cars sold at home in September - usually a bumper month for the industry as it coincides with the release of new number plates.Diesel sales were 22% lower - the lobby group partly blaming confusion over Government and local authority air quality plans including a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040.
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Cars produced for UK market fall 14% - SMMT

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However, its main angle of attack has been on Brexit uncertainty. The sector is demanding tariff-free access to the single market after the UK's divorce.Commenting on the manufacturing figures, SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "With UK car manufacturing falling for a fifth month this year, it's clear that declining consumer and business confidence is affecting domestic demand and hence production volumes."Uncertainty regarding the national air quality plans also didn't help the domestic market for diesel cars, despite the fact that these new vehicles will face no extra charges or restrictions across the UK."Brexit is the greatest challenge of our times and yet we still don't have any clarity on what our future relationship with our biggest trading partner will look like, nor detail of the transitional deal being sought."Leaving the EU with no deal would be the worst outcome for our sector so we urge government to deliver on its commitments and safeguard the competitiveness of the industry."
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