November Sees Significant Rise in Car Manufacturing

Key Highlights:

  • Surge in Production: UK car production witnessed a notable increase of 14.8% in November, with a total of 91,923 vehicles manufactured.
  • Growth in Domestic and Export Markets: The production boost was seen in both home (up 13.4%) and overseas markets (up 15.2%).
  • Year-to-Date Increase: The cumulative production for the year rose by 16.5% to 843,345 units, marking a record in electric vehicle (EV) production.

Comprehensive Overview

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) released new data on Friday, 22 December 2023, revealing a significant uplift in UK car manufacturing for November. The industry produced 91,923 cars, an increase of 11,832 compared to the previous year, marking the highest output for November since 2020. This growth signifies a robust recovery from previous supply chain disruptions.

Export and Domestic Market Dynamics:

  • Exports Remain Strong: The majority (60.8%) of cars were exported, particularly to the EU, China, and Turkey, with notable increases of 22.4%, 37.3%, and 208.8% respectively.
  • US Market Dip: There was a 21.6% decrease in exports to the US.
  • UK Market Growth: 22,919 cars were retained for the UK market.

EV Production Soars:

  • Record EV Manufacturing: Battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and hybrid (HEV) vehicles saw a 20.0% rise in production in November, contributing to 38.3% of total output.
  • Yearly Increase: From January, there has been a 53.7% increase in EV production, with 322,577 units manufactured.

Industry Insights from SMMT Chief Executive

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, expressed optimism about the resurgence of the UK car production sector. He highlighted the rebound post-Covid and supply chain challenges, emphasizing significant investments in UK automotive manufacturing. With the threat of tariffs on EVs now diminished due to extended EU-UK trade rules until 2027, there is a renewed confidence in the sector. Hawes also stressed the need for rapid development in the Anglo-European battery industry to meet the growing demand.

Future Outlook and EU-UK Trade Relations

The positive news precedes the anticipated approval of the European Commission’s proposal to extend current EU-UK trade rules on EVs and batteries until 2027. This extension is crucial for maintaining competitiveness in both the UK and European markets and beneficial for consumers. The governments of the EU and UK are urged to expedite the formalities and ratify the agreement before the end of the year, ensuring continued tariff-free trade in electrified vehicles.

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