Car production dropped 51% in March

The production of cars and commercial vehicles (CV) both dropped by more than 50% last month, official figures have shown.

A total of 61,829 cars were made in the UK during March, a drop of 51.3% on the last year's March figure.

CV production was also down 57.1% on March 2008, with 8,074 vehicles produced last month, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

This latest figures mean that car production for the first three months of 2009 was down 56.6% compared with the January-March period last year, while CV production has dropped 63%.

Forecasters predicted a sharp fall, with the demand for new cars comparatively low and companies cutting jobs and production.

In a bid to boost the car market, the Government announced a "bangers for cash" car-scrappage scheme in this week's Budget, offering owners of cars that are 10 years old or more £2,000 towards the cost of a brand new model.

As part of the scrappage scheme, car companies will pay half of the £2,000 incentive, with the Government offering the other £1,000.

A number of companies have already expressed an interest in the initiative, with Nissan agreeing to also include eight and nine years old cars in its scheme.

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