Figures show fall in car production

Official figures have revealed a further slump in UK car and commercial vehicle (CV) production during January.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said that a total of 61,404 cars were manufactured in January 2009 - a 58.7% drop on the January 2008 figure.

Meanwhile, CV production saw a 59.9% fall on the January 2008 figure, totalling just 8,351.

The only good news was that 83.5% of cars made last month were allocated for export - a record for any January.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of the SMMT, said: "Following extended winter shutdowns, vehicle output continued to fall in January in line with expectations.

"The extent of the decline highlights the critical need for further Government action to deliver the measures already announced and ease access to finance and credit."

He continued: "The proportion of cars exported peaked in January - evidence of the resilience of UK automotive manufacturing. European markets have been lifted by scrappage incentive schemes and SMMT continues its call for a UK plan to boost the new vehicle market and support employment throughout the sector.

"The motor industry reiterates its request for an urgent Government response."

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