21 Mar 2009

UK car output down record 59% in February

5:44 am on 21 March 2009

Car production in Britain fell by a record 59% for the 12 months to February, due to lower demand for vehicles.

The number of number of cars produced in February was 59,777 - the lowest figure for the month since records began in 1970.

Of this total: 46,617 were for export, down 58% on the year, and 13,160 for the domestic market - a fall of more than 62%.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders on Friday urged the government introduce cash incentives to scrap old cars - a scheme that has helped to revive the market in Germany.

Drivers there get 2500 euros ($US3,424) if they scrap cars that are at least nine years old.

Britain already provides government guarantees for up to sTG 2.3 billion pounds ($US3.35 billion) of loans to the car industry, but the industry wants more help.

The British car industry is largely foreign owned. It employs about 800,000 people, of whom 200,000 are in direct manufacturing.