Car production slumps by a third

Car production has slumped by a third as the motor industry reels from the effect of the current economic gloom.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said the rapid slowdown in output was caused by falls in domestic and export demand for vehicles.

The number of cars built in factories in the UK stood at 97,604, down by 33% on November last year. Almost 1.4 million cars have been built this year - a 2.7% fall on the same period last year, while commercial vehicle production slumped by 50% last month.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of the SMMT, has called for "urgent action" in the UK motor industry.

He said: "The sector has seen falls in demand, extended plant closures and the first signs of redundancies in the supply chain.

"Without swift action and the ability to access credit and finance, significant damage will be done to the nation's industrial capability, leaving the UK poorly equipped to take advantage of any global growth when it returns."

The announcement followed news that ministers had held discussions with Jaguar Land Rover over the possibility of state assistance for the car maker.

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