John Leech, UK Head of Automotive at KPMG comments on the SMMT vehicle production figures released today:
“Car output in the UK fell 8% in May and is now 0.6% down this year. Meanwhile, new car sales in Europe hit a 20-year low in May as unemployment hit a record 12% averaged across the Eurozone countries. It is clear that new car sales in Europe will shrink for the sixth successive year and carmakers are split on whether there will be any recovery this year. The industry continues to lobby Governments across Europe for some form of stimulus package, but UK volume car plants such as Nissan, Toyota and Honda are already cutting production and are planning longer August shutdowns this year.
“The situation for our premium carmakers is different since they export to emerging markets, and this, together with the strong demand for cars from UK consumers, means that I still forecast UK car production will grow again in 2013. This will make it the fourth consecutive year of growth, contrasting sharply with the rest of Europe, which is expecting its sixth straight year of decline. Our medium-term forecast also remains positive, with UK vehicle production set to grow from about 1.5 million to 1.9 million in 2016 based on manufacturers’ latest plans.”
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Notes to editors:
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with over 12,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.8 billion in the year ended September 2012. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. We operate in 156 countries and have 152,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. KPMG International provides no client services.