Car production in the UK last year fell at its fastest rate since the 2008 recession due to a collapse in exports and diesel demand
Production fell by an annual 14.2 per cent to 1.3 million cars in 2019, the third consecutive fall.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said this was due to some automakers closing factories for more days in case of disruption due to Brexit.
However, investment almost doubled to £1.1bn ($1.5bn) as Jaguar Land Rover said they planned to build electric vehicles in the UK.
The global car industry has been hit by declining sales in key markets such as China which is the world’s biggest auto market, and more companies investing in electric vehicles.
In the UK, exports were worst hit with demand from China down 26.4 per cent and demand from Japan down 17.7 per cent.
Output in 2020 is still expected to fall marginally.
Last year Peugeot warned that a decision to keep its Ellesmere Port car plant in Cheshire open would depend on Britain’s future relationship with the EU. The same year production there dropped by 20 per cent.
Meanwhile, Nissan is due to begin making its new Qashqai vehicle at its Sunderland factory, where output dropped 22 per cent.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to want to use Brexit as an opportunity to improve trade with the US, where 19 per cent of exported cars are sent.
However, the industry is focused on maintaining efficient and peaceful trade with Europe.