30%+ fall in UK car production

UK car production fell 32.4% in Q1 2022, a decline of 99,211 units compared to Q1 2021, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Production has been constrained by an ongoing global shortage of semiconductors and other components, the trade organization said, along with “the Ukraine crisis exacerbating parts supply challenges and manufacturers facing an increasingly challenging economic environment with rising energy costs and other inflationary factors”.

Exports to the US in March 2022 decreased by 63.8% year-on-year, largely due to the closure of a major plant in Swindon in July 2021 which manufactured for the US market, the SMMT said. Exports to the EU declined by 24.5%.

However, some 72.5% of cars made in the UK in March were built for export, with the EU taking the majority (67%), followed by the US (8.2%) and China (6.6%). Production for the domestic market increased by 4.3%, equivalent to 864 additional units.