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UK car production slumped again in February

  • UK factories built 61,657 cars in February – a 41.3 per cent fall
  • Chip shortage still to blame
  • More than a quarter of output was electrified models

Time 7:53 am, March 25, 2022

UK car production fell once again in February as the global chip shortage continued to bite.

Factories churned out 61,657 cars during the month – a 41.3 per cent fall on February 2021 and the eighth month of consecutive declines, figures released from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show.

The body said the figures were affected by the ongoing shortage of semiconductors around the globe, and Honda’s Swindon factory still being open this time last year.


The SMMT said it was the weakest February for UK car makers since 2009, production declined for both the domestic and overseas markets, down 35.8 per cent and 41.8 per cent respectively.

Exports accounted for more than eight in 10 cars made, with the majority of shipments (62.4 per cent) heading into the European Union, equivalent to 31,673 units.

The US, in comparison, took 11 per cent of exports, and China 8.7 per cent.

Electrified vehicles – hybrids, plug-in hybrids and full-electrics – accounted for more than a quarter of UK car production in February.


SMMT chief Mike Hawes said: ‘The automotive industry is undergoing its most radical transformation in more than a hundred years, but manufacturers are simultaneously facing the most extreme operating conditions as global economic headwinds drive up costs and constrain supply.

‘The sector entered 2022 hopeful for recovery, but that recovery has not yet begun, and urgent action is now needed to help mitigate spiralling energy costs and ensure the sector remains globally competitive to encourage the investment essential to growth, job security and the delivery of net zero ambitions.’

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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