Production falls again despite EV surge

UK car production fell 27% in August as the global shortage of semiconductors continues to hinder production.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 37,246 cars were manufactured in August, making it the second month of decline.

Despite the challenges, production of the latest battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid (HEV) cars surged to a new high, representing more than a quarter (27.6%) of all cars made, equivalent to 10,274 units.

It means UK car factories have turned out 137,031 alternatively fuelled cars since January, 51,679 more than the same period in 2020.

Production in the year-to-date is up by 13.8%, to 589,607 cars, driven by exports with 83.2% of everything made heading for markets abroad.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executivesaid: Another significant decline for UK car production is extremely worrying both for the sector and its many thousands of workers nationwide. While not the only factor at play, the impact of the semiconductor shortage on manufacturing cannot be overstated. Carmakers and their suppliers are battling to keep production lines rolling with constraints expected to continue well into 2022 and possibly beyond.

“Job support schemes such as furlough have proven such a lifeline to automotive businesses yet its cessation today comes at the worst time, with the industry still facing Covid-related stoppages which are damaging the sector and threatening the supply chain in particular. Other countries have extended their support; we need the UK to do likewise.”