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Vehicle industry set for new low

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As cash-strapped people cope with the credit crunch and cut back on the cost of car and van insurance, the UK vehicle manufacturing industry is expected to to reveal a huge drop in output.

The latest figures relating to the number of cars and vans produced during February are due to show that the vehicle industry slump is set to become the worst in its history.

With production cut back, and even halted, at some plants, last month's totals will be well down on the figure for February 2008.

The Honda motor company has halted all production at its plant at Swindon in Wiltshire until June, while Ford is on a four-day week and some other plants are on three-day weeks.

Production figures for the first few months of last year were still good, but an autumn downturn led to the year-end figures showing a 5.7% dip in car production in 2008 compared with 2007.

With new car sales falling fast at the end of last year, car production in December 2008 was 47.5% down compared with December 2007 and January 2009 was down 58.7%.

© Press Association 2009