July marks sixth month of increased UK car production

UK car production enjoyed its sixth consecutive month of growth in July with a year-on-year increase of 31.6 per cent, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reports today (August 31, 2023).


In total, 76,451 units were produced as UK car manufacturers continued their recovery from setbacks including the global chip shortage. Output does, however, remain -29.4 per cent lower than pre-pandemic July 2019.

Manufacturing output for the UK rose 13.7 per cent to 13,187 units in the month while exports increased 36.1 per cent to 63,264 units. Over eight-in-ten (82.8 per cent) cars made were shipped overseas, with the top destination markets being the EU, US, China, Japan and Australia. Combined they accounted for almost 85 per cent of all UK car exports last month.


Production of hybrid electric (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) continued apace, with combined volumes rising 73.9 per cent to 30,180 units and representing almost two in every five (39.5 per cent) cars made in July. Since January, UK car makers have now produced over 200,000 of these vehicles, almost double the amount produced in the same period last year, and a total of 526,619 cars overall, an increase of 14.2 per cent year-on-year.


In a statement, Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “Six months of growth shows that British car production is recovering and, with electrified models increasingly driving volumes, the future is more positive. Recent investment announcements have undoubtedly bolstered the sector but global competition remains tough.

“If we are to attract further investment and produce the next generation of zero emission models and technologies, we need a coherent strategy that builds on our strengths and supports all aspects of advanced automotive manufacturing.”

Today’s figures follow publication of the latest independent production outlook, which suggests total UK car production will reach around 860,000 units this year, an increase of 10.9 per cent on 2022, with the possibility to get production back to the million mark in 2028.