UK car manufacturing down 6%

UK car manufacturing output declined by 6% in September, following four consecutive months of growth.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reported that 63,125 models rolled off factory lines, with output again restricted by severe supply chain issues affecting manufacturers, driving volumes down by 47.7% from the 120,729 cars built in the same month in pre-Covid.

This September, exports declined 7.4% to 48,956 units while the number of cars built for the UK market was down 0.9% to 14,169 units.

Despite the overall decline, UK production of battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid (HEV) vehicles continued its recent upward trajectory, with combined net 9.9% growth to a record share of 37.8%.

BEV output, in particular, grew strongly, up 16.6% to 8,856 units and representing more than one in seven cars made in September. Year-to-date, UK car factories have turned out a record 52,888 BEVs, up almost a fifth (19.3%) on the first nine months last year.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Billions of pounds and thousands of jobs are dependent on the automotive sector and, increasingly, on electrified vehicle production. Despite the current challenges, our car makers remain resilient and are well placed to ramp up output of the latest, zero emission vehicles which will help drive an economic recovery, create jobs and boost growth.

“Success is not guaranteed, however, and to realise its potential the UK sector must attract new investment – which means creating competitive investment conditions. Stability, combined with a plan that tackles critical skills shortages, delivers regulatory certainty and brings down the cost of energy in the long-term can help put the UK at the forefront of next generation automotive manufacturing.”