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British car output drops annual 11 percent in July

British car output drops annual 11 percent in July
FILE PHOTO: New Land Rover cars are seen in a parking lot at the Jaguar Land Rover plant at Halewood in Liverpool, northern England, September 12 , 2016. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo   -   Copyright  Phil Noble(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – British car production fell 11 percent year-on-year in July, hit by model changes, seasonal adjustments and preparations for tougher new emissions standards, an industry body said on Thursday.

Output stood at 121,051 units last month, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said, with demand at home slumping 35 percent compared with a drop in exports of 4.2 percent.

The SMMT also said July last year had been a particularly strong month due to the launch of several new models.

“The bigger picture is complex and month-by-month fluctuations are inevitable as manufacturers manage product cycles, operational changes and the delicate balance of supply and demand from market to market,” said SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes.

The sector, which is heavily reliant on European and global supply chains, is concerned that any Brexit loss of free and unfettered trade with the European Union, its biggest export market, could raise costs and lead to delays at ports.

“To ensure future growth, we need political and economic clarity at home, and the continuation of beneficial trading arrangements with the EU and other key markets,” said Hawes.

(Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison)

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