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by George Skentzos

As the US seemingly bears the worst of the global economic recession, international markets are certainly not immune with the British automotive industry recording a record drop in production.

The volume of new cars manufactured in Britain fell by 59 per cent in February compared to the previous year’s figure, a direct result of many brands suspending or cutting back production.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), this represents the largest drop in a single month ever recorded, with just 59,777 cars manufactured in the fifth consecutive month of decline.

“We are in a battle for survival now,” said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt. “The level of demand is something that is a major, major problem.”

The SMMT has renewed calls for Government support in the form of assistance for finance divisions that provide loans for cars as well as a new scheme to encourage motorists to replace old cars with new ones.

A similar scheme has already been introduced in Germany which saw new car sales jump 22 per cent last month.

“We are not just throwing out money willy-nilly, we are not a bail-out fund in the government,” Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said, “We have go to ensure that where we can make a difference at the margin we are there.”

This response comes as EU and world leaders prepare for next month’s G20 summit where many nations are expected to condemn protectionism as a means to economic recovery.

Source: BBC News