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British car production drops 59 per cent

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.
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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