car

New investment into the UK's car industry has suffered a major decline in the first six months of the year.

The industry trade body, the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), reported that investment was just £90 million during the period compared with £347m in the same period in 2018.

In stark contrast, the amount car manufacturers are spending on contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit has reached 'at least' £330m.

Similarly, new car production dropped by a fifth in the first half of the year, from 834,573 to 666,521.

Despite the falling number of new cars rolling off the production line, the SMMT's chief executive Mike Hawes said the fall in investment is the most worrying aspect. Speaking to the BBC, he said: "Over the last seven years the UK automotive industry was a real success story. We were averaging something like £2.5bn per annum.

"In the first six months of this year, it's not been half of that £2.5bn. It's £90m. It's been a massive drop off, because we have that fear of no-deal.

"The fear of no-deal is causing investors to hold back and wait and see what's going to happen."