Coronavirus: UK sees almost no automobile manufacturing in April

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Jaguar Land Rover workersImage copyright Jaguar Land Rover

British automobile manufacturing got here to a screeching halt in April, down 99.7% towards the identical month final 12 months.

It was the bottom output for the reason that Second World War, in line with the trade physique, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Just 197 premium and luxurious sports activities automobiles rolled off manufacturing unit traces, with 45 of these despatched to UK clients.

Instead, some crops refocused to make 711,495 objects of non-public protecting tools for well being employees.

“With the UK’s car plants mothballed in April, these figures aren’t surprising but they do highlight the tremendous challenge the industry faces, with revenues effectively slashed to zero last month,” stated SMMT chief government, Mike Hawes.

The lack of 400,000 vehicles that will usually have been made is anticipated to price the British automobile trade as much as £12.5bn in revenues.

In April there have been 830 new automobile engines made at UK crops, 781 of which had been exported. This degree was down 99.5% on the 12 months earlier than.

Mr Hawes stated ramping up the trade once more could be a “gradual process”. Half of the UK’s engine and automobile makers are anticipated to go again to work this week.

Production timescales shall be staggered with strict social distancing measures in place. The SMMT has prompt to automobile producers that manufacturing unit employees must be supplied with PPE.

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Car producers are additionally anticipated to work with fastened groups and with partnering to restrict the quantity of people that work together every day.

Switch to PPE

Before manufacturing largely stopped, the few vehicles that had been produced had been luxurious vehicles from manufacturers like McLaren, Bentley and Rolls Royce.

It takes a couple of month to assemble a excessive finish luxurious sports activities automobile.

Although manufacturing of auto traces had stopped, the ending touches had been nonetheless being utilized to 197 luxurious vehicles that had been despatched to clients.

Image copyright McLaren
Image caption McLaren helped to make medical tools

With regular manufacturing unit work on maintain, the trade redirected its functionality in the direction of manufacturing PPE for healthcare employees.

Face shields, visors and medical robes had been pieced collectively in automobile factories. Rolls Royce and McLaren had been among the many corporations which helped to make medical tools corresponding to ventilators.

Although the automobile trade is progressing with plans to slowly resume manufacturing, however unions say a severely weakened trade wants pressing authorities assist.

Steve Turner, Unite assistant basic secretary, stated: “We urgently want a sector plan to assist the UK’s world class auto trade via this disaster, with funding to defend jobs and assist for a transition to electrification.

“The French and German governments have wasted no time in getting behind their manufacturing workers.”

He stated that in each international locations, governments are utilizing the shutdown to intervene, with taxpayer assist, in return for a transition to a greener home trade and assist for his or her native provide chains.

“The UK government needs to match this ambition, proudly talking up our manufacturing champions and working with unions to recover and meet the challenges of the future, sustaining and creating quality jobs and apprenticeships,” he stated.