UK car production suffers weakest February since 2009 – SMMT

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A view shows morning rush hour traffic as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in central London, Britain July 6, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley

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LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) – British car production last month was 41% lower than a year earlier, reflecting continued disruption from chip shortages and Honda’s closure of a car factory in July, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said on Friday.

Some 61,657 cars were made in Britain in February, the lowest number for the time of year since February 2009 and down from 105,008 12 months earlier.

UK car production in 2021 has fallen to the lowest since 1956, due to the growing impact of semiconductor shortages, and is half its level of five years ago. Read more

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“The sector entered 2022 expecting a recovery, but that recovery has yet to begin, and urgent action is now needed to help ease spiraling energy costs and ensure the sector remains globally competitive,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

Manufacturers have also been hit by the dispute between Russia and Ukraine, which were sources of electrical wiring and aluminum, palladium and nickel used in batteries, SMMT said.

A quarter of the cars produced in February were hybrid or electric vehicles.

The UK government has said the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be banned from 2030 as part of efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Honda – which before the pandemic accounted for around 10% of UK car production – said last year it was closing its factory in Swindon, southern England, due to falling demand for its cars through Europe. He said the decision was not due to Brexit.

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Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by William James

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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