Andrew Burn, Partner and Head of Automotive at KPMG UK, comments on the SMMT’s car manufacturing figures for July, which fell 20.8%.
He said: “Whilst production volumes are 20% down when compared to July 2019, if you look at it the other way, manufacturers are producing around 80% of last year's volumes, so even though uncertainty continues, the direction of travel is positive.
“However, whilst it’s great for car manufacturers who serve a global market, with around 80% of vehicles manufactured in the UK for export, we cannot forget that at a domestic level there are a number of challenges. Many manufacturers of components are highly operationally geared and therefore in many cases, small changes in volumes mean the impact is felt on the bottom line more directly than in other sectors. Also, given that the UK was the hardest hit economically, out of major economies, by the pandemic in the three months to June, a longer recovery time for many sectors is to be expected.
“Also, the lower production level for the UK market continues to suggest that fewer people are buying new cars, although the used car market is seeing strong demand at the moment with many valuing instant access over long lead times in the current environment.”
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