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UK’s automotive surge: A million cars on the horizon

UK’s automotive surge: A million cars on the horizon
UK’s automotive surge: A million cars on the horizon

The UK saw a 31.6% surge in car production during October. At this rate, the country is on track to produce one million light vehicles – such as cars and delivery vans – before the end of 2023. 

Data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows that 91,512 units were produced in October alone. October also had the highest production rate since 2019.

Vehicle production increased

Nearly two-thirds of the vehicles produced in the UK are being exported – most notably to the European Union (EU) and Turkey. 

Exports to the EU increased by 58.5%, making it the biggest overseas market. The vehicles exported to Turkey increased fourfold, making it the third largest market after China and Japan.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes believes recent developments and investments in November will usher in a promising future for the UK automotive sector, especially with efforts to shift towards decarbonized vehicles. 

Electric vehicle boost

Data from the SMMT show the production of electric and hybrid vehicles in the UK has also increased.

The UK has seen a rise in the production of battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV). The combined output of these types of vehicles grew by 52.1%. In October alone, four in ten vehicles manufactured were electric or hybrid. 

Other notable statistics include: 

  • 287,408 electric and hybrid vehicles produced since January 2023.
  • This figure is 59.1% higher than the production figures from the previous year.
  • The total car production increased by 16.7% to 751,422 units.

According to Hawes, the government and the automotive sector are committing billions “to transform the industry for a decarbonised future.” 

Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary Claire Coutinho says the UK have “long been energy pioneers in advanced manufacturing, and [the investments from government] will allow us to carry on that great British tradition.” 

Funding from government 

The announcement of permanent full expensing in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and a £2bn ($2.5 billion) commitment from government and a £2bn commitment from Nissan underscores “the increasing competitiveness of the UK,” Hawes says.

Additionally, the government will also extend the Connected and Automated Mobility Research and Development programme with up to £150 million ($189 million) of funding by 2030. 

Hawes says these investments signal “a bright 2024 for the UK automotive sector.”

About the author

Cheryl has contributed to various international publications, with a fervor for data and technology. She explores the intersection of emerging tech trends with logistics, focusing on how digital innovations are reshaping industries on a global scale. When she's not dissecting the latest developments in AI-driven innovation and digital solutions, Cheryl can be found gaming, kickboxing, or navigating the novel niches of consumer gadgetry.

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