Business

UK car production was up 13.1% year-on-year in February, driven by an uplift in export numbers.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said that 69,707 cars were made last month, with 81.2% of those destined for overseas markets.

Almost 60% of those exported went to the European Union, by far the biggest market for UK-made vehicles.

Smaller numbers headed for Japan, Australia and Turkey – offsetting a decline in the number destined for China and the US.

Overall, exports rose 11.5% while domestic output was up 20.3%.

Hybrid, plug-in and battery electric vehicle output was up by 72.2% – two in every five cars made during the month.

The SMMT noted that the numbers were buoyed by an easing of supply chain shortages – particularly of semi-conductors – which have hurt the global car manufacturing industry since the early months of 2021.

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Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “February’s growth in UK car production signposts an industry on the road to recovery.

“The fundamentals of the sector are strong; a highly skilled workforce, engineering excellence, a sector that is embracing new electrified vehicle manufacturing and wide ranging capabilities in the EV supply chain.

“To take advantage of global opportunities, however, we must scale up at pace and make the UK the most attractive destination for automotive investment by addressing trading and fiscal costs and delivering low carbon, affordable energy.”

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