North England

UK car production down for eighth consecutive month as chip shortage continues

Global supply chain issues are continuing to impact new car production, as manufacturers are unable to source some of the components they need. Find out more in this article by Darren Cassey from PA Motoring Service.

UK car production was down 41.3 per cent in February year-on-year, as the global chip shortage continues to throttle parts supplies.

It marks the eighth consecutive month of decline for the beleaguered car industry, which came out of pandemic lockdowns only to be faced by major supply issues.

Car manufacturers are struggling to get hold of computer chips that are vital to a vehicle’s electronics.

Car production stats

Source: Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders

The result was that February saw just 61,657 cars built in the UK, compared with 105,008 in February 2021.

Industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) compiles the figures, and reported that it was the weakest February for UK car production since 2009.

Production was down 35.8 per cent for the domestic market and 41.8 per cent for exports.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, 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.”

On top of the chip shortage, UK car makers have been affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Although less than two per cent of exports went to the countries in 2021, many of the critical raw materials included in a vehicle’s construction are sourced from the region.

The SMMT noted that “the sanctions imposed are supported by the industry but raise additional challenges to the sector in the medium to long-term’.

This article was written by Darren Cassey and PA Motoring Reporter from PA Motoring Service and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to

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