LONDON -- The UK's car industry body called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to secure a tariff-free trade deal with the European Union which avoids barriers for businesses as production slumped in November.
Output fell 17 percent last month to 107,753 cars, continuing a trend of decline in 2019 which leaves output down 15 percent in the first 11 months of the year to 1.2 million vehicles, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said in a statement.
"UK car production is export-led, so we look forward to working with the new government to deliver an ambitious trade deal with the EU," SMMT CEO Mike Hawes said in the statement. "That deal needs to be tariff-free and avoid barriers to trade, which, for automotive, means that our standards must be aligned," he said.
Johnson convincingly won an election last week which puts Britain on track to leave the EU by the end of next month, guaranteeing a transition period until the end of 2020 during which time little will change in its relationship with the bloc.
Much of next year will be dominated by talks between London and Brussels on the future partnership to take effect from 2021, with automakers seeking the closest possible relationship to maintain their seamless production processes.
The global automotive industry overall has had a bad year as falling sales in China, trade-war worries between the world's two biggest economies, a slump in European diesel sales and the need to invest heavily in electrification, have all hit demand
Nissan, Toyota and Honda are among automakers that build cars in the UK, along with BMW Group's Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, Volkswagen Group's Bentley, Tata's Jaguar Land Rover and the PSA-owned Vauxhall unit.