May 30, 2018 / 11:05 PM / a year ago

UK car output ends run of declines to rise 5 percent in April

LONDON, May 31 (Reuters) - British car production overturned several months of declines to rise 5.2 percent in April, boosted by new and updated models and a comparatively poor performance in the same month last year due to the timing of Easter, a car industry body said on Thursday.

Output had slumped since November in response to falling domestic demand, especially for diesel models, and due to the changeover between older and newer cars.

Production for both domestic and overseas buyers rose in April, pushing total volumes to 127,952 units, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

“While April’s growth isn’t altogether surprising given the significant decline in output this time last year, it is good to see earlier planned investment into new models delivering results,” said SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes.

The British automotive industry is concerned, however, that Brexit could see the loss of frictionless, tariff-free trade with its biggest export market.

“The ability of UK plants to attract the next wave of new models and drive future growth depends upon maintaining these competitive conditions after Brexit,” said Hawes. (Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison)

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