28 May 2021

Rise in Car Production Levels is 'Artificial'

A significant rise in car production is ‘artificial’ according to the head of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

There has been a 17.3% rise in UK car production figures in the first four months of 2021, compared to the same time period last year.

However, SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes believes this is not a true gauge of the car industry recovery from the effects of Covid-19 as production had ground to a halt as the pandemic took hold of the World in April 2020.

“April’s figures were always going to be exceptional as factories were closed at this time last year,” he said.

“While it’s good news that the UK is on track with its Covid roadmap back to normality, we still need strong domestic demand and, given we’re export led, confident overseas markets to drive a recovery.”

A total of 68,306 cars were produced in the UK last month, a huge increase on the 197 cars produced in the same time last year but 3.8% less than April 2019.

But when compared to the five-year average, production was down 42.9% for April and 31.1% for the January-April period.

“[This] reflects the scale of the challenge facing the industry as it seeks to recover from the pandemic,” added Hawes.

“The situation for UK car manufacturers remains challenging, particularly with the worldwide shortage of semiconductors affecting output.”

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