Manufacturing stalls after six-month growth

Six months of continued growth in UK car production fell in August as volumes fell 9.7% to 45,052 units.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), output was in part affected by extended production pauses at some plants for planned maintenance and upgrades as car makers gear up to produce the next generation of electric vehicles.

Production for the domestic market declined by 25.2% while output for export fell by a less pronounced 5.5%.

However, manufacturing of green vehicles continued its upwards trend, up 2.8% to make it 14 months of consecutive growth.

So far this year overall production has risen 11.8% to 571,671 units. Both home and export volumes are up in the first eight months of the year, by 2.5% and 14.4% respectively.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “After six straight months of growth, a decline in UK car output in what is always the smallest and most variable volume month is not a cause for concern. With car manufacturers taking advantage of the summer holiday season to upgrade their plants, this is part of an ongoing commitment to deliver the next generation of electric vehicles, with a record number of these models already being made.

“To secure future investment, however, we need business certainty, not least a UK-EU agreement to delay tougher rules of origin that would damage the competitiveness of electric vehicles in both the European and British markets and concrete details from the UK government on the regulation compelling the sale of EVs in Britain. Both are due to commence in less than 100 days and are essential to business planning and investment for 2024 and beyond.”