News that Ford plans to close its Bridgend plant next year, with the loss of 1,700 jobs, is just the latest in a series of blows for the UK car industry.

In February, Honda said it would close its Swindon plant by 2021, with the loss of about 3,500 roles, while Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan are also cutting production and jobs.

It comes as carmakers around the globe struggle with a range of challenges, while consumers are buying fewer cars.

So what’s holding manufacturers back?

1. Falling demand

After years of strong growth, global car sales were broadly flat in 2018, largely because of a slump in demand in the world’s biggest market, China.

It has hurt carmakers who had been doing brisk business in

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