Production stalls despite EV demand

UK car production fell 41.3% in February, with 61,657 units made.

According to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 43,351 fewer cars were made than in the same month in 2021, primarily due to the persistent global shortage of semiconductors causing some factories to pause production, and the loss of output following the closure of a major plant in Swindon last summer.

In what was the weakest February for UK car makers since 2009, production declined for both the domestic and overseas markets, down 35.8% and 41.8% respectively.

However, UK production of the latest electrified vehicles continued apace with plug-in hybrids, hybrids and battery electric cars combined representing more than a quarter (25.8%) of all production in the month, or 15,905 units.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The automotive industry is undergoing its most radical transformation in more than a hundred years, but manufacturers are simultaneously facing the most extreme operating conditions as global economic headwinds drive up costs and constrain supply. The sector entered 2022 hopeful for recovery, but that recovery has not yet begun, and urgent action is now needed to help mitigate spiralling energy costs and ensure the sector remains globally competitive to encourage the investment essential to growth, job security and the delivery of net zero ambitions.”