UK car output falls 14% in February amid COVID-19 hit

FILE PHOTO: Toyota cars at a dealership in West London are pictured as it remains closed during lockdown following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 5, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - British car production fell to its lowest February level since 2010 after an annual 14% drop as lockdown measures, global supply chain problems and new customs processes hit the industry, a trade body said on Friday.

Dealerships in England will not reopen to the public until at least April 12 as part of efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 whilst a shortage of semi-conductors and Brexit deal rule changes have also impacted some businesses.

A total of 105,008 cars were produced in Britain last month, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

“These figures are yet more evidence of how badly coronavirus has hit UK car production,” said SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes.

“The UK is not isolated from global issues and our automotive industry still needs a stable and secure international market in order to prosper.”

Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by William James