Six consecutive months of growth for UK car production

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Made in Britain. Manufacturing at MINI factory in Oxford. Photo credit: SMMT

UK car production rose again in February, up 14.6% to 79,907 units, according to the latest figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

  • UK car production rises 14.6% in best February performance since 2021.
  • Manufacturing for domestic market surges, up 58.0%, while exports rise 4.6%.
  • Electrified vehicles represent more than a third of output with 29,038 made in the month

It was the sixth consecutive month of growth and best February performance since 2021, with nearly all volume manufacturers posting uplifts, driven by output for the domestic market which grew 58.0% to 20,658 units, an increase of 7,585.

Volumes for export, meanwhile, rose 4.6% to 59,249, representing a rise of 2,615 units, with three quarters (74.1%) of all cars made in the month shipped overseas.

The European Union received by far the largest proportion of exports (59.9%) followed by the US (14.8%), China (7.1%), Australia (3.3%) and Turkey (2.3%). Volumes to all these markets apart from Turkey (-20.3%) rose, led by the US up 95.6%.

Production of electrified vehicles (battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid) maintained its recent level, representing more than a third (36.3%) of all output in the month. Factories turned out a combined 29,038 units, up 6.0% on the year before, and with two thirds (67.3%) of these models built for export evidence of the need to ramp up UK battery production and electric vehicle supply chain capabilities.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said

Another month of growth for UK car production is welcome news, reflecting strong demand at home and around the world for the latest British-built cars. The industry is transitioning from internal combustion engine cars to electrified vehicles, building on the massive investment commitments made last year. The UK industry faces stiff competition, however, as global competitors seek to secure new models and technologies so a commitment to our industrial competitiveness, from all political parties in this likely election year, must be maintained.

To date in 2024, UK car production is up 17.8% at 162,904 units, the best start to the year since 2021. However, with major manufacturers recently announcing the end of production of some long-running models as they gear up to make new electric variants, production volumes may be more variable in the months ahead.

Source: SMMT

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