UK car production fell -9.7% in August, following six consecutive months of growth, as 45,052 models rolled off factory lines, according to the latest figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
Typically the smallest volume month of the year with often variable summer shutdowns which can lead to large percentage variations, August’s output was in part affected by extended production pauses at some plants for planned maintenance and upgrades as car makers gear up to produce the next generation of electric vehicles.
Production for the domestic market declined by more than a quarter (-25.2%), while output for export fell by a less pronounced -5.5%, equivalent to 2,150 units. The decrease was driven largely by a decline in shipments to the US, China and Japan, down -58.6%, -24.5% and -37.8% respectively.
The EU, meanwhile, remained the UK’s biggest global market with almost six in 10 exports heading for the bloc (57.9%) – representing an 11.5 percentage point uplift in shipments from last year after volumes rose 17.8%.1
In the year to date, overall production continues its double digit gains, rising 11.8% to 571,671 units. Both home and export volumes are up in the first eight months of the year, by 2.5% and 14.4% respectively.
Manufacturing of the latest and greenest vehicles continued to prove a bright spot, with a 14th consecutive monthly gain. August showed combined volumes of electrified vehicles rose, albeit modestly, by 2.8% to represent nearly two in five (36.6%) of all cars made, equivalent to 16,511 units. Since January, car makers have turned out 216,922 of these crucial vehicles, an uplift of 84,310 on the previous year, evidence of the UK’s capability to be a leader in zero emission production.
“Despite Rishi Sunak’s recent decision to delay the ban of new petrol and diesel [internal combustion engine vehicles until 2035 in the UK, a delay of five years on the previous plan originally 2030, it remains evident that the UK will still likely face a shortage of EV technicians by that time.
Lawrence Whittaker, CEO at Warrantywise said, “I’ve heard arguments from OEMs, comments from all areas of the automotive and transport industry about how we need a cohesive strategy about the EV implementation and ICE ban.
“However, no-one is talking about the fact that, regardless of this date moving, we don’t have the talent to look after the EVs of today, and we’re not doing enough to prepare for the future… Regardless of if that’s 2030 or 2035.”