UK Car Manufacturing Logs Strongest Month In 2023: SMMT

UK car manufacturing registered its strongest month ever thus far this year underpinned by robust domestic and foreign demand, data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed on Thursday.

Car production logged a double-digit annual growth of 39.8 percent in September. This was the strongest month of expansion thus far this year. About 88,230 cars rolled out of factories.

The best September since 2020. Moreover, car production reached 659,901 units year to date, nearly 15 percent above the same period last year.

Deliveries for the domestic market surged 65.9 percent in September. There was an increase of 32.2 percent in exports. The EU continued to be Britain’s leading trading partner. In every ten units, six went to the EU.

Exports to the US climbed 19.8 percent and that to China advanced 28.2 percent. Shipments to Turkey posted a sharp increase of 212.0 percent.

Electrified car production registered an increase of 41.5 percent in September. Electrified vehicles accounted for more than a third of outbound shipments since January.

Given the increasing importance of electric vehicles trade with mainland Europe, the tariff-free trade set out in the UK-EU Trade Cooperation Agreement must be maintained, the lobby said. Tougher rules of origin for batteries will come into force in January 2024.

SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said the first and urgent step is for the UK and EU to agree to delay the tougher rules of origin requirements.

A delay in rules will give breathing space for automotive sectors on both sides of the Channel to scale up gigafactories and green supply chains, both of which are essential for a stable, long-term transition, said Hawes.

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