Currently reading: UK new car output down by 37.6% but EV uptake grows
Combination of ‘pingdemic', factory shutdowns and global semiconductor shortage lead to an overall drop
News
2 mins read
26 August 2021

New car production in the UK dropped by 37.6% in July 2021 because of issues caused by the ‘pingdemic', summer factory shutdowns and the global semiconductor shortage

A total of 53,438 cars were built in July, with 8238 produced for the UK market and 45,205 shipped overseas, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The figures represent a decline of 38.7% for the UK market and a decline of 37.4% for cars exported out of the country, which the SMMT says is the worst July performance since 1956.

Exports accounted for 84% of all vehicles built in July. 

Year-on-year production remains up by 18.3% at 552,361 one year on from the height of the pandemic, but this figure is still 28.7% behind 2019’s pre-Covid-19 levels, when 774,760 cars rolled off production lines.

Electric, hybrid and plug-in models achieved a record market share of 26%, with the UK producing 126,757 examples since the start of 2021.

“These figures lay bare the extremely tough conditions UK car manufacturers continue to face,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes. “While the impact of the ‘pingdemic’ will lessen as self-isolation rules change, the worldwide shortage of semiconductors shows little sign of abating.

“The UK automotive industry is doing what it can to keep production lines going, testament to the adaptability of its workforce and manufacturing processes. 

“Government can help by continuing the supportive Covid measures currently in place and boosting our competitiveness with a reduction in energy levies and business rates for a sector that's strategically important in delivering net zero [emissions].”

READ MORE

UK car industry needs "significant investment", says SMMT

Nissan will build batteries in UK to sustain Sunderland plant

Car industry body SMMT launches job-saving scheme

Join the debate

Comments
4
Add a comment…
artill 26 August 2021

Lack of semi conductors, and presumably the Honda closure of Swindon wont have helped either with the number made.

As for EV sales doing well, i would love to know the split between Company cars and private sales, if anyone knows it. Afterall an EV is almost free as a company car, so if you can cope with the limited range, and somewhere to charge it, its a no brainer, whereas for the buying public a normal ICE car is much cheaper still, so really only a plaything for the rich

567 26 August 2021

Nothing to do with Brexit like some Remainers would like us to believe. The referendum was 5 years ago and they need to accept the result and move on in the UK.

Peter Cavellini 26 August 2021

Aren't these disappointing figures just a result of what the whole planet is going through?, won't they change in the next few years once we all get a handle on how to produce goods, settle differences between local markets (UK v EU) ?