UK car production down 6.7 pct in October image

U.K. car production was down 6.7 percent in October compared to a year ago, the smallest year-on-year drop of 2009, an industry group said Friday.

While the year-on-year decline in output is now slowing, that is in part a reflection of the comparison with the sharply lower output levels of the fourth quarter last year.

Sales in 2009 have been boosted by a government-backed program which offers 2,000 pounds ($3,300) discounts to new car buyers who trade in a car more than 10 years old.

“The rate of decline in UK car production continued to fall in October, against a weak 2008. The scrappage scheme and early signs of recovery in global markets offer some encouragement to UK vehicle producers, but 2010 is expected to be another difficult year for the industry,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.

“SMMT has asked the chancellor to use the pre-budget report to help sustain and strengthen recovery. Building business and consumer confidence will be key factors during the first half of 2010.”