05 Mar 2024

UK car production lowest since 1956

UK car production fell 9.8% in 2022, according to the latest figures from the SMMT, giving last year the lowest annual production total for the country since 1956. Facing ongoing semiconductor shortages and ongoing COVID-19 related problems, UK car factories managed to pump out 775,014 units. The total was was also 84,561 units down on 2021 and 40.5% under pre-pandemic 2019, when the country managed to produce 1,303,135 cars pre-pandemic.

Of the total, a record 234,066 battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid (HEV) electric vehicles were built, representing 30.2%, Total BEV production rose 4.8%, with hybrid volumes up 4.3%.Meanwhile, looking at the total again, 168,176 were built for the home market and 606,838 units were built for export, with the EU the sector’s largest market,.

Commenting on the figures, SMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said: “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. The potential for this sector to deliver economic growth by building more of these zero emission models is self-evident, however, we must make the right decisions now. This means shaping a strategy to drive rapid upscaling of UK battery production and the shift to electric vehicles based on the UK automotive sector’s fundamental strengths – a highly skilled and flexible workforce, engineering excellence, technical innovation and productivity levels that are amongst the best in Europe.”