Car production for September falls to lowest in 40 years


The number of cars built in the UK has continued to fall for the third month in a row, dropping to their lowest level for September since 1982.

A total of 67,169 cars were produced in Britain last month, a decline of 41.5% year-on-year, according to a new report from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The fall represented a “worrying trend”, the industry body said in a statement.

Car manufacturers around the world are battling with an ongoing shortage of semiconductors, as the industry struggles to recover from its slump last year, when factory disruption and depressed demand caused by the pandemic saw output fall to its lowest level in nearly 40 years.

Around one in 10 automotive firms have made redundancies or restructured their businesses as a direct result of the lack of semiconductors, said the SMMT.

Exports to the European Union dropped by a third last month, as cars exported to Turkey, Australia, and the US also fell.

Meanwhile, production of electric and hybrid cars continues to break records, the group said, now representing almost a third of all cars made.

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“The substantial decline in UK car output in September continues the worrying trend we have seen over the past three months,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT’s chief executive.

“The industry is continuing to battle the effects of the pandemic with the shortage of semiconductors stalling production.”

“Whilst there was welcome news in the Budget to support the transition to zero emission vehicle production, battery manufacturing and supply chains, it missed the opportunity to offer meaningful short-term support given COVID-related supply constraints and rising energy bills.”

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