Production boost for

UK car industry

Nissan Juke, 2022, Sunderland production

CAR production in the UK grew for the second consecutive month in November, up 5.7 per cent to 80,091 units, accordingto the latest figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The rise means UK car manufacturing output has grown in six of the past seven months demonstrating how, even amid global chip shortages and supply chain constraints, factories are doing their best to meet demand for new cars at home and overseas.

Despite the overall rise in output, November's performance was still down against historic levels, 44.1 per cent off the pre-pandemic five-year average for the month and 25.7 per cent off 2019's total of 107,744 units.

The SMMT said the reasons for this trend are many, including the impact of Covid lockdowns overseas, recently in China, structural and product changes, the long-running squeeze on semiconductor supply and wider turmoil resulting from war in Ukraine.

Production for the home market was up 59.1 per cent to 20,206 units, a rise of 7,505 cars, while export volumes fell 5.0 per cent to 59,885, a loss of 3,170.

Exports accounted for 74.8 per cent of all cars made in the month with the majority of shipments -57.3 per cent - heading into the European Union, followed by the US at 21.9 per cent and China at 5.9 per cent.

Continuing the recent upward trend, UKproduction of battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid vehiclesrose once again, with combined volumes up 18.3 per cent to 29,318 units and representing more than a third of total production in November.

Since January, UK manufacturers have turned out 209,930 of these vehicles combined, up 2.9 per cent on the same period in 2021.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: "These figures bring some Christmas cheer to UK car makers in what has been another incredibly tough year.

"Supply chain shortages, overseas lockdowns and some structural and product changes have combined to throttle output for much of 2022 but there is renewed hope these issues will begin to ease in 2023. This could bring a much-needed boost to the economy, however, to attract the investment needed for long term growth, we still need stability and more competitive conditions-not least to alleviate crippling long term energy costs."

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