Car production fell last month

Car production fell last month

That’s according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders

Car production fell back last month as factories adjusted for new models, latest figures show.

The number of cars built was 59,467, down by 27% compared with a year ago, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

It was the first fall since August last year but the trade body said it was in line with expectations for a variable year, as manufacturers adjust factories to produce the next generation of cars, notably electric.

Volumes for the UK fell by 0.3% to 19,995 units, while production for export was down by 35.9% to 39,472 units, although more than six in 10 cars made in March were shipped overseas.

The European Union received the bulk of exports (57.9%) followed by the US (11.4%), China (5.9%), Australia (4.0%) and Japan (1.8%).

Electrified vehicle (battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid) models again represented more than a third of all production.

Car production remained up 1.1% in the first quarter, at 222,371 units, compared with the same period a year ago.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “This fall is not unexpected given the wholesale changes taking place within UK car factories as existing models are run out and more plants transition to electric vehicle production.

“We can expect further volatility throughout 2024 as manufacturers lay the foundations for a successful zero emission future.

“Recent investment announcements have boosted confidence and enhanced the UK’s reputation but there needs to be an unrelenting commitment to competitiveness.

“Free and fair trade deals must be secured, energy costs reduced and the workforce upskilled if we are to attract further investment to improve productivity and decarbonise automotive manufacturing and its supply chain.”

The latest independent production outlook now expects UK car and light van production to fall 6.2% to around 940,000 units this year, mainly due to multiple model changeovers, before returning to growth in 2025, said the SMMT.

Output is anticipated to get back above a million units from 2026 and reach 1.2 million before the end of the decade as more EV production comes on stream.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

Scroll to Top