Car production ends year on upward trend

UK car production grew for the second consecutive month in November, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

It reported that production was up 5.7% to 80,091 units, meaning output has grown in six of the past seven months.

However, November’s performance was still down 44.1% from the pre-pandemic five-year average for the month and 25.7% off 2019’s total of 107,744 units.

Production for the home market was up 59.1% to 20,206 units, a rise of 7,505 cars, while export volumes fell five per cent to 59,885.

UK production of battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid (HEV) vehicles rose once again, with combined volumes up 18.3% to 29,318 units and representing more than a third (36.6%) of total production in November. Since January, UK manufacturers have turned out 209,930 of these vehicles combined, up 2.9% on the same period in 2021.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Supply chain shortages, overseas lockdowns and some structural and product changes have combined to throttle output for much of 2022 but there is renewed hope these issues will begin to ease in 2023. This could bring a much-needed boost to the economy, however, to attract the investment needed for long term growth, we still need stability and more competitive conditions – not least to alleviate crippling long term energy costs.”