UK car production nears 70,000 in April

UK car production rose from 197 last April to 68,306 this April, with significant increases in plug-in vehicles.

However, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reports this is 3.8% below the April 2019 output.

So far this year UK factories have turned out 374,864 cars, with April’s performance offsetting earlier declines to drive a 17.3% overall increase, but 15% down on the same four-month period in 2019.

When compared with a five-year average, production was down 42.9% for the month and -31.1% for the period January–April.

The April figures also reveal UK automotive manufacturing’s increasing shift towards electrified vehicles. In the month, 22.8% of all UK car manufacturing was for battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid cars, while in the year-to-date alternatively fuelled model production is up 33.1% on the same period in 2019.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: April’s figures were always going to be exceptional as factories were closed at this time last year amid the first wave of the pandemic. However, the situation for UK car manufacturers remains challenging, particularly with the worldwide shortage of semiconductors affecting output. While it’s good news that the UK is on track with its Covid roadmap back to normality, we still need strong domestic demand and given we’re export-led, confident overseas markets to drive a recovery, both for the automotive sector and for the wider economy.”