Increase in car production shows industry is on road to recovery, says SMMT

Car production has increased following an easing of a two-year long shortage of semiconductors, figures show.

The number of cars built in UK factories reached 69,707 last month, over 8,000 more than the same month a year ago, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The report noted an improvement in supply chain shortages – notably of semiconductors – which have “bedevilled” the global industry since early 2021.

Production for the home market increased by 20% and by 11% for overseas, with most exports into the UK’s largest trading partner, the EU.

Shipments to the EU rose by 6.5%, helping to offset declines to the US and China – both down by around a fifth – providing further evidence of the need for continued free trade across the Channel, said the SMMT.

The transition to hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles continued, with combined production surging by 72% from 15,905 to 27,392, accounting for two in five cars produced in the month.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes 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.”