Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, has blamed the fall in the UK’s car production on a ‘toxic cocktail’ of economic and political failure at the hands of a government more interested in self-preservation than UK national interests.

Figures released today (Thursday 31 January) by the Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders (SMMT) show that car production fell by 9.1 per cent last year, a five year low. Car production for the British market fell by 16.3 per cent.

Toxic cocktail

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “The UK’s government is lurching from one failed policy to another as it seeks to unite itself rather than our nations. This ‘toxic cocktail’ of failed economic and political policy has resulted in a collapse of consumer and corporate confidence and thousands of skilled jobs haemorrhaging from car plants and the wider supply chain. 

“The UK motor industry has been our ‘jewel in the crown’, leading a renaissance in manufacturing and economic renewal in regions across our nations. This global success story is now under threat from inaction and policy failures from a government in crisis which is failing to back UK Plc.

“We are just a few weeks into 2019 and already major car makers have announced thousands of jobs losses, with more in supply chains, distribution and logistics companies. Jobs that support families and ensure money is spent in local communities.

Government failure

“The government’s failure to secure a Brexit deal which secures frictionless trade, vital to the car industry, remains our most immediate concern, but on top of this, government failure to support infrastructure investment supporting alternative fuel vehicles, to develop UK based electric and hydrogen vehicle technologies or to proactively intervene in the economy to encourage new sales of cleaner vehicles, are all adding to a growing concerns.

“Unite has repeatedly said that the government needs to develop a meaningful coherent industrial policy and the difficulties currently being faced by the car industry demonstrate firstly that this has not happened and secondly, why this remains imperative.”


Notes to editors:

Unite vows to safeguard jobs as JLR announces global job losses

Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.