Car production tumbles again in worst February for a decade
UK car production fell 14 per cent last month as the sector suffered its weakest February for over a decade.
Just 105,008 units rolled off production lines last month, according to new figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
It was the eighteenth straight month of declining car production in Britain, the trade body said, as the pandemic tipped an already struggling industry into reverse.
One bright spot, however, came in the fact that just over a quarter of all the cars built last month were plug-in or hybrid models.
Output thus far this year are down 20.6 per cent in total. Car showrooms have been shut for months, driving down sales, but are due to reopen on 12 April.
The production malaise is not unique to the UK, however. A worldwide shortage of semiconductor chips has seen a raft of auto giants cut annual production targets.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “A year into the pandemic, these figures are yet more evidence of how badly coronavirus has hit UK car production.
“Thankfully, there are some rays of light with UK showrooms due to reopen on 12 April, vaccinations progressing and a roadmap to kickstart the economy. The automotive sector can play a crucial role in getting the UK back on its feet, supporting jobs across the country, driving growth and helping the country transition to zero emission mobility.“
Speaking yesterday at the SMMT’s first electric vehicle conference, Hawes called for more government support for the industry after one of the worst years in recent history.
Total production fell to its lowest levels since 1984 last year, as factories were shuttered for months at a time.
The SMMT predicts a 15.8 per cent increase in output this year to 1.05m units, but that will still leave it considerably below the 1.3m cars that were made in 2019.