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Carmakers recover ground in first three month of the year with rising exports to EU


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The number of cars built in the first three months of the year rose by 6 per cent, but the overall volume of vehicles produced remains lower than before the pandemic.

Production totalled 219,887, according to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The trade group said that the global shortage of semiconductors which choked off production last year had started to ease, enabling factories to produce 12,540 more cars than a year earlier. Exports increased by 6.6 per cent and represented almost eight in ten cars made.

About two thirds of exported cars went to the European Union, with shipments increasing by 4.9 per cent, while those to the next biggest markets, the United States and China, fell by 4.1 per cent and 8.3 per cent respectively.

The society said that combined volumes of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles rose by 75 per cent last month, compared with a year earlier, to 32,546. Two in five cars built last month featured ultra-low or zero-emission powertrain technology. This trend was set to continue with more than 20 models of electric cars, vans, buses, trucks and taxis expected to be in production in the UK by next year.

Mike Hawes, chief executive, said: “A second consecutive month of growth for UK car production gives cause for optimism, though volumes are still well below pre-pandemic levels.”

Richard Peberdy, at KPMG, said: “Big questions still remain unanswered about how the UK will produce electric vehicles at much larger scale.”

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