UK car production records weakest October since 1956

2021-11-26 14:05:41 GMT2021-11-26 22:05:41(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

LONDON, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Britain's car production dropped 41.4 percent year-on-year in October this year, marking the fourth straight month of decline and the weakest October since 1956, the British Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said Friday.

Data showed that the country's car manufacturing output was 64,729 units in October, as firms "grappled with the global shortage of semiconductors which led to production stoppages," said the SMMT.

Production for domestic and overseas markets fell by double digits in the month, down 37.9 percent and 42.1 percent respectively when compared with the same month one year earlier, figures revealed.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: "These figures are extremely worrying and show how badly the global semiconductor shortage is hitting UK car manufacturers and their suppliers."

"Britain's automotive sector is resilient but with COVID resurgent across some of our largest markets and global supply chains stretched and even breaking, the immediate challenges in keeping the industry operational are immense," Hawes added.

Production of the battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid (HEV) vehicles comprised 30.9 percent of all cars made in October, SMMT data showed.

"BEV manufacturing rose 17.5 percent to 8,454 units, meaning that, so far this year, UK car makers have produced more than 50,000 zero emission vehicles, exceeding the total built in the whole of the pre-pandemic 2019," said the SMMT.

"Government can help the industry with measures to boost competitiveness in line with global rivals, notably in tackling high energy costs, supporting employment and training, and helping businesses whose cash flow is under pressure from these historically poor production numbers," Hawes said.

The latest data came as Britain lifted most COVID restrictions thanks to the roll-out of its vaccine program.

More than 10 million coronavirus cases have been recorded in Britain since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to official figures released Thursday.

More than 88 percent of people aged 12 and over in Britain have had their first dose of vaccine and more than 80 percent have received both doses, according to the latest figures. More than 28 percent have received booster jabs, or the third dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines. Enditem