UK car production plunged in June, following a collapse in domestic demand.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said the poor figures were caused by "a perfect storm of events", as car production for the home market fell by 47.2 per cent in June, and overall by 5.5 percent.

Describing the data as a "one-month anomaly", the SMMT said preparation for new emissions tests was to blame.

Looking to the future, the industry body said UK car production was in line with expectations.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said the latest figures "demonstrate the risks of judging automotive performance one month in isolation, with numerous and varied factors creating a perfect storm for home market output".

Production for overseas markets remains the mainstay of the UK car industry, with around 80 per cent of cars built for export. Good demand from non-UK markets continues to "bolster disappointing domestic demand", said the SMMT.

Orders from outside the UK were "broadly stable" in the first six months of 2018, translating to a relatively modest fall of 3.3 per cent.

However, Mr Hawes said Britain's car industry was dependent on "free and frictionless trade".

He reiterated the disruptive threat posed by Brexit to the country’s car manufacturing industry.

Investment in the UK car industry has fallen by half, according to a statement by the SMMT last month. Firms are putting off big investment decision until the outcome of Brexit crystallizes.

The most recent attempts by the government to move negotiations forward were described by Mr Hawes as "a step in the right direction to safeguard future growth, jobs and consumer choice".