UK car production drops -41.3% as electric vehicles account for a quarter of cars made
UK car production fell -41.3% in February, with 61,657 units manufactured.
According to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 43,351 fewer cars were manufactured than in the same month in 2021, mainly due to the continuing global shortage of semiconductors which caused some factories to suspend production, and the loss of production following the closure of a major factory in Swindon last summer.
In what was the weakest February for UK automakers since 2009, output fell for both domestic and overseas markets, down -35.8% and -41.8% respectively.
Exports accounted for more than eight out of ten cars manufactured, with the majority of shipments (62.4%) going to the European Union, which equates to 31,673 units. The United States, in comparison, absorbed 11.0% of exports and China 8.7%.
UK production of the latest electrified vehicles continued with plug-in hybrids, hybrids and battery electric cars combined accounting for more than a quarter (25.8%) of all production for the month, or 15,905 units. The news comes after a new SMMT analysis released this week revealed around £10.8bn has been committed to electric vehicle production and gigafactories in the UK since 2011.
This investment has resulted in the production of nearly a quarter of a million alternative fuel cars over the past decade, but new commitments to domestic battery production are now essential if volumes are to increase further.
Mike Hawes, Managing Director of SMMT, said: “The automotive industry is undergoing its most radical transformation in over a hundred years, but manufacturers are simultaneously facing the most extreme operating conditions as the headwinds of the economy worldwide increase costs and limit supply. The sector entered 2022 on the expectation of a recovery, but that recovery has yet to begin, and urgent action is now needed to help ease spiraling energy costs and ensure the sector remains competitive on a global scale to encourage the investments essential for growth, job security and the provision of net services. zero ambition.