UK car production rose again in November, with 80,091 cars rolling out of assembly lines. But it is still below pre-pandemic levels as the semiconductor shortage continues to batter the motor industry.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said production was up by 5.7% compared to November 2021, growing in six of the past seven months.

Electric vehicles ⁠— battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid ⁠— accounted for more than a third of the cars produced in November. Their volume increased by 18.3% compared with November 2021, to 29,318 units.

Since January, UK manufacturers have turned out 209,930 of these vehicles combined, up 2.9% on the same period in 2021.

Overall, domestic production jumped 59.1% to 20,206 units, while exports fell 5% to 59,885 cars. However, 2021 was a “dismal” year, with output dropping to the lowest level recorded since 1956.

Around 723,846 cars have left showrooms ⁠this year — a 9.2% decline compared with the 797,265 recorded at the same point in 2021.

Exports accounted for 74.8% of all cars made in November with the majority of shipments (57.3%) heading into the European Union, followed by the US (21.9%) and China (5.9%).

The SMMT said chip shortage and other supply chain problems continue to be an issue for car manufacturers.

“Supply chain shortages, overseas lockdowns and some structural and product changes have combined to throttle output for much of 2022 but there is renewed hope these issues will begin to ease in 2023,” SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said in a statement.

“This could bring a much-needed boost to the economy, however, to attract the investment needed for long term growth, we still need stability and more competitive conditions ⁠— not least to alleviate crippling long term energy costs,” he added.


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