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Future ‘more positive’ with latest car production figures

Car production increased by almost a third last month compared to a year ago, new figures show.

A total of 76,451 cars were built, marking the sixth consecutive month of growth, according to the the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

UK carmakers have continued their recovery from recent difficulties, including global chip shortages, but output remained 29.4% lower than pre-pandemic July 2019, said the SMMT.

Output for the UK increased 13.7% to 13,187 last month, while exports increased more than a third to 63,264 units.

More than four in five cars made were shipped overseas, with the top destination markets being the EU, US, China, Japan and Australia, accounting for almost 85% of all UK car exports last month.

Honda stock
Cars are lined up at Southampton Docks prior to being loaded onto a car container ship for export (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Production of the latest, high-tech hybrid electric (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) continued to increase, rising 73.9% to 30,180 units and representing almost two in every five cars made in July.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Six months of growth shows that British car production is recovering and, with electrified models increasingly driving volumes, the future is more positive.

“Recent investment announcements have undoubtedly bolstered the sector but global competition remains tough.

“If we are to attract further investment and produce the next generation of zero emission models and technologies, we need a coherent strategy that builds on our strengths and supports all aspects of advanced automotive manufacturing.”

The latest independent production outlook, suggests that total UK car production will reach around 860,000 units this year, an increase of 10.9% on 2022, with the possibility to get production back to the million mark in 2028.