SMMT News UK Manufacturing

Christmas comes early for carmakers with production up in November

22 December 2023 #SMMT News #UK Manufacturing
  • UK car production grows 14.8% in November with 91,923 cars leaving factory gates.
  • Volumes for home and overseas rise by 13.4% and 15.2% respectively.
  • Output year-to-date increases 16.5% to 843,345 units with record EV production levels.

UK car production rose 14.8% in November, according to the latest figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 91,923 cars rolled out of factory gates, an increase of 11,832 on November last year, representing the best performance for the month since 2020 as supply chain challenges moved firmly into the rear-view mirror.1

Production for both the home and overseas markets increased, up 13.4% and 15.2% respectively. 22,919 cars stayed in the UK though, as always, exports drove volumes. Export growth was driven mainly by the EU, China and Turkey, although Europe received by far the bulk (60.8%) of all shipments, reinforcing the need for tariff-free electrified vehicle trade across the Channel. Shipments to these markets rose, by 22.4%, 37.3% and 208.8% respectively, offsetting a -21.6% fall in cars heading to the US.

UK production of battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid (HEV) vehicles continued its upward trajectory, combined volumes up 20.0% to 35,169 in November and representing 38.3% of total manufacturing output. Since January, UK car factories have turned out a record 322,577 of these crucial vehicles, up 53.7% on the same period in 2022, pushing overall production volumes up 119,499 units on 2022, to 843,345 units – already 68,331 units ahead of full year 2022 with December’s figures still to come.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

UK car production is firmly back on track following the tough Covid years and resulting supply chain challenges. With significant investment committed to UK automotive manufacturing, production volumes increasing and the imminent threat of tariffs on EVs traded with the EU now removed by the extension of current rules of origin until 2027, there is renewed confidence in the sector. We now need to see the Anglo-European battery industry build capacity at pace to meet forecast demand.

The news comes ahead of the approval of the European Commission’s proposal to extend the current EU-UK trade rules governing EVs and batteries to 2027. Avoiding tariffs on electrified vehicles traded between the two markets is essential not just for UK and European competitiveness but also for the consumer. Governments in the EU and UK must now complete the formalities and move quickly to ratify the agreement before the year end.

Notes to editors

1: 106,243 cars produced November 2020

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