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Good tidings as UK car production grows again in November

- November UK car production grows 5.7% with 80,091 cars manufactured.
- Electrified vehicle output rises 18.3% to 29,318 units and more than a third of production.
- Volumes for home market up 59.1% while exports decline -5.0% in the month.

2022 UK car production grew for the second consecutive month in November, up 5.7% to 80,091 units, according to the latest figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 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% off the pre-pandemic five-year average for the month and -25.7% off 2019’s total of 107,744 units. 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% to 20,206 units, a rise of 7,505 cars, while export volumes fell -5.0% to 59,885, a loss of 3,170. Exports accounted for 74.8% of all cars made in the month with the majority of shipments (57.3%) heading into the European Union, followed by the US (21.9%) and China (5.9%).

Continuing the recent upward trend, UK production of battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid (HEV) vehicles rose once again, with combined volumes up 18.3% to 29,318 units and representing more than a third (36.6%) of total production in November. Since January, UK manufacturers have turned out 209,930 of these vehicles combined, up 2.9% 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.”

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is one of the largest and most influential trade associations in the UK. It supports the interests of the UK automotive industry at home and abroad, promoting the industry to government, stakeholders and the media.

The automotive industry is a vital part of the UK economy and integral to supporting the delivery of the agendas for levelling up, net zero, advancing global Britain, and the plan for growth. Automotive-related manufacturing contributes £67 billion turnover and £14 billion value added to the UK economy, and typically invest around £3 billion each year in R&D. With more than 182,000 people employed in manufacturing and some 780,000 in total across the wider automotive industry, we account for 10% of total UK exports with more than 150 countries importing UK produced vehicles, generating £77 billion of trade.

More than 25 manufacturers build over 70 models of vehicles in the UK, plus an array of specialist small volume manufacturers, supported by some 5,000 supply chain businesses and some of the world's most skilled engineers. Many of these jobs are outside London and the Southeast, with wages that are around 14% higher than the UK average. The automotive sector also supports jobs in other key sectors – including advertising, finance and logistics.

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