Car production continues downward trajectory
- Posted by: Alan Feldberg
- Category: News
UK car production declined 41.4% in October as factories turned out 64,729 units, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
It was the fourth straight month of decline and the weakest October since 1956 as firms grappled with the global shortage of semiconductors which led to production stoppages. The weak output totals compared to last year are exacerbated by the closure of a UK car plant at the end of July, a deficit that will impact figures for a year.
More positively, production of the latest battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid (HEV) vehicles comprised 30.9% of all cars made in October. BEV manufacturing rose 17.5% to 8,454 units, meaning that, so far this year, UK car makers have produced more than 50,000 zero emission vehicles, exceeding the total built in the whole of the pre-pandemic 2019.
Production for domestic and overseas markets fell by double digits in the months, down 37.9% and 42.1% respectively.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “These figures are extremely worrying and show how badly the global semiconductor shortage is hitting UK car manufacturers and their suppliers. Britain’s automotive sector is resilient but with Covid resurgent across some of our largest markets and global supply chains stretched and even breaking, the immediate challenges in keeping the industry operational are immense.
“Government can help the industry with measures to boost competitiveness in line with global rivals, notably in tackling high energy costs, supporting employment and training, and helping businesses whose cashflow is under pressure from these historically poor production numbers.”