Production steady despite March dip

Car production in March was down 27.1% to 59,467 units, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Volumes for the UK were down 0.3% to 19,995 units, while production for export fell 35.9% to 39,472 units.

In terms of electric vehicles, volumes represented more than a third of all production (38.4%) with manufacturers producing a combined 22,865 units, although this was down 29.7% on the year before.

Despite the March dip, overall UK car production was up 1.1% in the first quarter, at 222,371 units.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “This fall is not unexpected given the wholesale changes taking place within UK car factories as existing models are run out and more plants transition to electric vehicle production. We can expect further volatility throughout 2024 as manufacturers lay the foundations for a successful zero emission future. Recent investment announcements have boosted confidence and enhanced the UK’s reputation but there needs to be an unrelenting commitment to competitiveness.

“Free and fair trade deals must be secured, energy costs reduced and the workforce upskilled if we are to attract further investment to improve productivity and decarbonise automotive manufacturing and its supply chain.”