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UK car output slumps nearly 11% in July on weak export demand

UK car output slumps nearly 11% in July on weak export demand
A file photograph shows a traffic jam as cars head towards the approach tunnel of Heathrow Airport, west London, Britain November 26, 2015. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls -
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Peter Nicholls(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – British new car production fell by an annual 10.6 percent in July, the 14th consecutive month of declines due to weak demand in EU and Asian markets and model changes, an industry body said on Thursday.

Car demand has been hit by a number of factors in recent months including a slump in sales of diesel vehicles in Europe and weakening demand in China, the world’s biggest automotive market.

Last month, British car factories churned out 108,239 cars, hit by a 14.6% drop in exports, which account for four in five vehicles, whilst production for domestic demand rose 10.2%, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

“The sector is overwhelmingly reliant on exports and the global headwinds are strong, with escalating trade tensions, softening demand and significant technological change,” said SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes.

“The importance of maintaining the UK’s global competitiveness has never been more important so we need a Brexit deal,” he added.

(Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison)

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