Car production up as supply chain flows

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30th March 2023

UK car production rose 13.1% in February, up to 69,707 units, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Factories made an additional 8,050 cars, with volumes buoyed by an easing of supply chain shortages – notably of semiconductors.

Production for both home and overseas markets rose by double digits, up 20.3% and 11.5% respectively.

Meanwhile, the UK’s automotive industrial transition to hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles continued, with combined volumes surging 72.2% from 15,905 to a total of 27,392 units and accounting for two in five (39.3%) cars produced in the month.

However, while automotive businesses are broadly optimistic about the next 12 months, more than eight in 10 report that input and employment costs have risen in the past three months, so action to alleviate cripplingly high and uncompetitive energy costs ranks as their number one concern.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “February’s growth in UK car production signposts an industry on the road to recovery. The fundamentals of the sector are strong; a highly skilled workforce, engineering excellence, a sector that is embracing new electrified vehicle manufacturing and wide ranging capabilities in the EV supply chain. To take advantage of global opportunities, however, we must scale up at pace and make the UK the most attractive destination for automotive investment by addressing trading and fiscal costs and delivering low carbon, affordable energy.”

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