UK car production has returned to growth driven by an increase in luxury car exports, although they are still well below pre-pandemic levels.
A total of 69,524 vehicles were built in October, up 7.4% from the same month last year, the Association of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.
Exports of the latest luxury and most expensive models led last month’s production, with most of it going abroad.
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More than eight out of every 10 cars built, equaling 56,469 units, are made for export, and more than half of those are destined for the European Union, but also for the United States, Japan, South Korea, Australia and Turkey.
13,055 cars were introduced to the local market.
Mike Howes, CEO of SMMT, said: “A return to growth in UK car production in October is welcome – although production remains significantly below pre-COVID levels amid component supply disruption.
“Getting the sector back on track in 2023 is a priority, given the jobs, exports and economic contribution supported by the automotive industry.
UK production of battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and HEV vehicles also rose, with combined volumes up 20.3% to 24,115 units.
“UK carmakers are doing everything they can to ramp up production of the latest electrified cars, and help achieve net zero, but more favorable conditions for investment are urgently needed – particularly in affordable and sustainable energy and the availability of talent – as part of a supportive framework. auto industry,” Hawes said.
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Richard Pepperdie, head of motors at KPMG, warned that rising energy prices could add pressure on carmakers and “threaten the global competitiveness of the UK car industry”.
Pepperdie added: “The race to be seen as a world leader in electric vehicle production is well under way, and the UK’s position as a manufacturer of cars, vans and parts depends on very significant investment in battery manufacturing and skills.”
“At this point, it is not clear where this will come from.”