UK plants slow down

Car production slumps amid parts shortage

Car factories have been hit by component shortages

Car production in the UK dropped by 44.4% in March, while the number produced in the first quarter of the year fell by almost 100,000 from 2021, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. 

Factories produced 76,900 cars last month, which was 38,598 less than in March 2021. The SMMT said it was the weakest March performance since the financial crisis 2007-09.

The number of cars produced in Q1 fell 32.4%. Overall, the UK produced 207,347 – 99,211 fewer than Q1 of 2021.

Output for exports fell by 35%, while models for the domestic UK market dropped by 20.3%.

As well as the continued struggle against Covid-19, the drop in production was once again attributed to the continuing semiconductor shortage, rising energy costs and a decrease in production for overseas markets.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is leading to shortages of parts such as wiring harnesses and valuable metals for batteries. 

The SMMT’s figures revealed that 72.5% of cars produced in the UK in March were destined for export, with 67% heading to the EU. About 8.2% were shipped to the US and 6.6% to China.

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