UK’s surging hybrid and BEV production leads fourth month of growth

toyota corolla static side

Production of electrified vehicles almost doubled in May

UK car production in May rose 26.9% year on year, with 79,046 cars rolling off the lines

UK car production grew for a fourth straight month in May, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), as 79,046 cars rolled out of factories despite the continuing backdrop of challenging economic conditions.

That output represents a 26.9% rise compared with May 2022 and was pushed by a near-doubling of electrified vehicle (hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric vehicle) production to 27,636, which now represents 35% of the total UK output.

This increase in production included a double-digit surge in the number of vehicles exported (up 22.9% to 62,858), especially to mainland Europe, which remained the country’s biggest global market. The continent imported 35,215 cars, up 19% and representing 56% of all overseas shipments in the month. 

This number “reinforces the need for continued tariff-free trade between the UK and EU,” said the SMMT, with electrified vehicles set to be hit by tough fines when rules of origin regulations come into force on 1 January.

READ MORE: Rules of Origin regulation ‘to be pushed back to 2027’

Exports accounted for the majority of the overall production output, at 79.5%. Combined, UK car exports to the next largest markets (the US, China, Japan and Australia) represented less than a third (28.3%) of the total in May, at 17,798 units. The rest of the output (up 45.4% to 16,188 cars) stayed in the UK. 

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Another month of growth for UK car production is good news and a sign that, despite challenging economic conditions, the industry’s foundations are strong. 

“But with weak GDP growth, high inflation and rising interest rates, it’s crucial that UK car factories stay globally competitive. 

“All political parties must recognise the strategic importance of this sector and back our call for an industrial strategy that supports local production, assures export market access and attracts further investment to safeguard our future.”

Source: Autocar

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