By Nick Carey
LONDON (Reuters) - British car production fell nearly 10% in 2022 due to an ongoing global semiconductor shortage and pandemic-related lockdowns in China, but production of fully-electric vehicles rose almost 5%, according to industry data.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said on Thursday that UK car production declined 9.8% in 2022 to 775,014 units and was still just over 40% lower than in 2019 before the global coronavirus pandemic hit.
But UK car plants made a record 234,066 fully electric, or battery electric vehicles (BEV), plug-in hybrids (PHEV) and hybrid (HEV) electric vehicles, with combined production up 4.5% versus 2021. Hybrids and BEVs accounted for 30.2% of all car production.
Total UK BEV production rose 4.8% in 2022.
"These figures reflect just how tough 2022 was for UK car manufacturing, though we still made more electric vehicles than ever before – high value, cutting edge models, in demand around the world," SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said in a statement.
Nearly 80% of cars produced in Britain in 2022 were built for overseas markets.
Almost 60% of exports went to countries in the European Union.
(Reporting By Nick Carey; Editing by Sandra Maler)