June 28, 2017 / 11:01 PM / 2 months ago

UK car output falls 10 pct in May ahead of new models

LONDON, June 29 (Reuters) - British car production fell 9.7 percent in May as some major manufacturers reached the end of older product lines and prepared to begin building newer models, an industry body said on Thursday.

Output stood at 136,119 last month, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said, with exports accounting for around 80 percent of demand as automakers prepare for the introduction of newer vehicle types.

Jaguar Land Rover is rolling out its new Velar sport utility vehicle, Honda's Civic Type R hatchback will be exported to more markets and a range of Nissan models are all expected to boost figures in the months ahead.

But the highly successful industry, which is on course for record output by the end of the decade, remains concerned that Britain's exit from the European Union could harm plants by imposing tariffs and border checks on vehicles and components.

"Maintaining our current open trade links with Europe, our biggest market, and further developing global markets is vital for this sector," said SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes. (Reporting by Costas Pitas, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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