Solid start to the year for UK car production

Output falls by marginal 0.3 per cent in January 2023 due to structural changes

UK car production has had a stable start to the year, falling by just 0.3 per cent in January 2023.

A total of 68,575 cars rolled off production lines during the month – only 215 fewer than in January 2022 – with this small reduction being the result of structural changes at one UK plant and supply chain issues affecting others, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

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Production for the UK rose 5.6% per cent to 12,196 units, while exports declined by 1.5 per cent due to the suspension of shipments to Russia. Eight in 10 cars built were still sent overseas, however.

Combined electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid electric vehicle volumes rose 49.9 per cent to 28,329 units, representing four in 10 cars built.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said, “Automotive manufacturing can drive long-term growth for the low carbon economy but the sector needs competitive conditions to attract investment.

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“Recent global developments, however, suggest increasing protectionism which, if not challenged or mitigated, could put the UK at a disadvantage. To deliver a wholesale industrial transformation we need a competitive framework and a pitch that promotes advanced vehicle manufacturing internationally.

“We now look to the forthcoming Budget for the necessary measures that will enable the automotive sector to deliver its undoubted potential.”

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