UK car production plunge highlights restart challenge ahead, says GlobalData

Following the news that UK car manufacturing plunged by 95.4% in May as the COVID-19 crisis halted production at UK factories;

David Leggett, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“With UK car plants either closed or just beginning to restart operations last month, the May output numbers are no surprise, though they are a stark reminder of the urgent need for the sector’s recovery.

“Car plants around the world – and in the UK – are now restarting, but it won’t be a smooth process.

“Global demand for cars remains far below normal levels with an uncertain recovery trajectory ahead.

“GlobalData forecasts that the hit to the global automotive market this year will be greater than in the 2007/08 financial crisis. Our base case COVID-19 light vehicle sales scenario forecasts a fall of 17.4% on 2019 to 73.5 million units sold.

“Such a dent to demand creates huge pressures across the whole industry.

“Moreover, even while first wave COVID-19 infection peaks have been passed, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over and fresh outbreaks can disrupt manufacturing activity anywhere along the global automotive manufacturing supply chain.

“There are considerable challenges ahead in getting the industry back towards pre-crisis output levels.”

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