UK car production maintains upwards trajectory

Britain’s automotive manufacturers posted the sixth consecutive month of growth in February, according to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

UK car production rises 14.6 per cent in best February performance since 2021
UK car production rises 14.6 per cent in best February performance since 2021 - AdobeStock

UK car production in February was up 14.6 per cent to 79,907 units, with most volume manufacturers posting uplifts. According to SMMT, this was driven by output for the domestic market, which grew 58 per cent to 20,658 units.

Volumes for export rose 4.6 per cent to 59,249, representing a rise of 2,615 units, with three quarters of all cars made in the month shipped abroad. The European Union received the largest proportion of exports (59.9 per cent) followed by the US (14.8 per cent), China (7.1 per cent), Australia (3.3 per cent) and Turkey (2.3 per cent).


Production of electrified vehicles (battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid) represented 36.3 per cent of all output in the month. Factories produced a combined 29,038 units, up six per cent on the year before. SMMT said that 67.3 per cent of these models built for export provide evidence of the need to ramp up UK battery production and electric vehicle supply chain capabilities.

In a statement, Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Another month of growth for UK car production is welcome news, reflecting strong demand at home and around the world for the latest British-built cars.

“The industry is transitioning from internal combustion engine cars to electrified vehicles, building on the massive investment commitments made last year. The UK industry faces stiff competition, however, as global competitors seek to secure new models and technologies, so a commitment to our industrial competitiveness, from all political parties in this likely election year, must be maintained.”

To date in 2024, UK car production is up 17.8 per cent at 162,904 units. SMMT caution that production volumes may be more variable in the months ahead as major manufacturers the end of production of long-running models and transition to new electric variants.