UK car manufacturing was down almost 29 per cent in November

Decline comes despite a boost in electric vehicle production.

Nissan Sunderland
Nissan Sunderland

Car manufacturing in the UK saw a 28.7 per cent decline in November, despite encouraging numbers for electric vehicles, according to industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The figures mean 75.756 vehicles were built in the UK last month compared with 106,243 in the same period last year.

The UK saw production fall 18.8 per cent for the domestic market and 30.4 per cent for overseas.

However, electric vehicles bucked the downward trend as output surged 52.9 per cent to a record 13.9 per cent share with just over 10,000 vehicles made.

Car manufacturing November 2021
(SMMT)

Looking at the year as a whole the decline isn’t so drastic, but it will make for concerning reading for manufacturers who have struggled to keep up with consumer demand as a shortage of computer chips has slowed production.

The total number of cars built up to the end of November was 797,261, a 6.2 per cent decline on the 849,525 built over the same period in 2020.

The figures are more alarming when compared with pre-pandemic figures, though, as this year’s total so far is over 430,000 cars down on 2019 and almost 670,000 down on the five-year pre-Covid average for the period.

With electrification becoming more and more common, electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid vehicles took a record share of 32.7 per cent of the vehicles made in the month, tipping it over a quarter (25.5 per cent) of cars made this year.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “These are incredibly worrying figures, underscoring the severity of the situation facing the automotive industry.

“Covid is impacting supply chains massively, causing global shortages – especially of semiconductors – which is likely to affect the sector throughout next year.

“With an increasingly negative economic backdrop, rising inflation and Covid resurgent home and abroad, the circumstances are the toughest in decades.

“We have to look to Government to provide support measures in the same way it is recognising other Covid-impacted sectors.”

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