UK Car Output Plunges 55 Percent

LONDON (AP) -- U.K. car production in April fell 55 percent from a year ago as demand plunged amid the recession, but the industry is hoping for a boost from a government-backed incentives to trade in old cars, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Output in April totaled 68,258 cars, with 82 percent of that exported.

For the first four months of the year, car production is down 56 percent, and commercial vehicle production is down 64 percent, the Society said.

The government and industry are sharing costs to offer discounts of 2,000 pounds ($3,000) to new car buyers who trade in a model more than 10 years old.

"With the scrappage incentive scheme fully operational, industry is optimistic about the positive impact this will have on the market and on UK production facilities," said Paul Everitt, the society's chief executive.

"Despite the current difficulties, the UK must prepare for the return of global growth and government support for the industry is an essential part of the process."

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