More than a quarter of all cars produced in the UK last month were electrified, official figures have revealed.
In April, 16,010 electrified vehicles – either hybridised or fully electric – rolled off production lines across the country, up 2.1% on the same month a year ago. Battery-electric vehicle output was also up 38.2%.
But data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has shown that, overall, UK car production fell 11.3% compared with April last year. Just 60,554 vehicles were produced, down 7752. This total was also 14.7% below the April 2019 pre-pandemic level.
The lull was blamed mainly on the ongoing global shortage of semiconductors and the impact of the war in Ukraine on supply chains.
There are now calls for new policies to protect and support manufacturing, as well as to encourage investment.
SMMT CEO Mike Hawes said: “The UK car industry is exposed to a host of issues that are undermining output and competitiveness.
“Global chip shortages and supply chain disruption are exacerbated by spiralling energy costs, additional trading costs and slowing global markets.
“The foundations of the sector are strong and the transition to zero- and ultra-low-emission vehicles continues apace but we need more policies and measures that support manufacturing and encourage investment into the UK at this most challenging of times.”
Yet the SMMT figures did show a 60.1% rise in the production of cars for the UK market, from 7975 to 12,768. The SMMT cited a substantial growth in new models attracting buyers into showrooms.
However, the UK saw a significant year-on-year decline in export figures last month, driven by the closure of Honda’s Swindon plant in July 2021.
Production output for overseas markets fell by 20.8%, from 60,331 to 47,786. This was driven by a 68% decline in shipments to the US and a 10.4% drop in those to Asia. There was a 5% uplift in shipments to the EU.