UK car production: Weakest January since 2009

Published:  26 February, 2021

UK car production dropped 27.3% in January to 86,052 units, according to the latest figures from the SMMT. The 32,262 fall made this the worst January for car-making in Britain since 2009, and a 17th consecutive month of decline. The ongoing effects of the pandemic, global supply chain issues, extended shutdowns and the end of the Brexit transition period all impacted on output.

Conversely, the growth in UK production of battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid vehicles (HEV) seen in 2020 continued, with combined output of these vehicles rising 18.9% in January to 21,792 units. In fact, 25.3% of all car built were alternatively fuelled.

Commenting on the figures, SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said: “Yet another month of decline for UK car production is a grave concern and next week’s Budget is the Chancellor’s opportunity to boost the industry by introducing measures that will support competitiveness, jobs and livelihoods. Whilst there have been some very welcome recent announcements, we need to secure our medium to long-term future by creating the conditions that will attract battery gigafactory investment and transform the supply chain.

“Most immediately, however, we must get our COVID-secure car showrooms back open, ideally before 12 April. This will be the fastest way to UK automotive manufacturing recovery.”

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