UK Car Production Sees Strong Growth in July Despite Pandemic Hangover

by Anna

London, September 6, 2023 – The UK’s automotive industry displayed remarkable resilience as car production in July surged by 31.6%, marking the sixth consecutive month of growth, according to recent data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

A total of 76,451 vehicles rolled off the assembly lines in July, reflecting the unwavering commitment of UK car manufacturers to recover from the challenges posed by global chip shortages and other difficulties. Despite this impressive resurgence, production levels still lagged behind pre-pandemic figures from July 2019, down by 29.4%.


The data also revealed that manufacturing output in the UK increased by 13.7% to reach 13,187 units during the same period. Exports, however, experienced an even more significant upswing, surging by 36.1% to reach 63,264 units, constituting the majority of production for July.


A remarkable 82.8% of the cars manufactured found their way to international markets, with key destinations including the European Union, the United States, China, Japan, and Australia. Together, these markets accounted for nearly 85% of all UK car exports in the previous month.


The production of advanced, high-tech hybrid electric (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) maintained robust growth, with combined volumes increasing by an impressive 73.9% to reach 30,180 units, representing almost two in every five (39.5%) cars produced in July.


Cumulatively, since the beginning of the year, UK car manufacturers have produced over 200,000 of these environmentally friendly vehicles, nearly double the quantity manufactured during the same period in the preceding year. The total production for the year reached 526,619 cars, reflecting a notable 14.2% year-on-year increase.

Commenting on the encouraging figures, Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the SMMT, emphasized, “Six months of continuous growth demonstrates the resilience of British car production. With electrified models driving volume growth, the outlook is optimistic. Recent investment commitments have provided a much-needed boost to the sector; however, global competition remains fierce. To attract further investments and develop the next generation of zero-emission models and technologies, a cohesive strategy building upon our strengths in advanced automotive manufacturing is essential.”

These statistics follow the release of an independent production outlook, which suggests that total UK car production is on track to reach approximately 860,000 units this year, marking a 10.9% increase from 2022. The industry aims to recover from three challenging years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the potential to achieve production levels exceeding one million units by 2028.

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