The number of cars rolling off UK production lines in May plunged, as demand among British motorists for new vehicles fell. Official data from industry trade body the Society of Motor
Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed that May saw 136,119 new cars built in Britain, down 9.7pc on the same month of last year.
On a year-to-date basis, production suffered a much smaller blow. In the first five months of the year, 729,755 cars were built, 1.2pc below the same period a year ago. However, analysis of the figures shows a big drop off in domestic demand. Compared with a year ago, new cars destined for British roads fell by 12.8pc in May, while those for export came in 9pc lower.
Measured on year-to-date, the situation is less bleak for domestic demand, dropping 8.1pc to 153,199, while UK-built vehicles being exported propped up the figures, recording a 0.8pc gain to 576,566 cars. Falling UK demand is widely attributed to consumer fears about the post-Brexit economy.