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Lowest October UK Car Output Since 1956 Amid Chip Shortage | Investing News

LONDON (Reuters) – British car output fell by an annual 41.4% last month to its lowest October level since 1956 as the global lack of semiconductor chips and a plant closure hit the sector, according to a trade industry body.

A total of 64,729 cars rolled off British production lines, data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed on Friday.

The fall reflected the global supply chain problems and Honda’s permanent closure of its factory in late July.

Car output in the first 10 months of the year stood at 721,505 vehicles, down 2.9% on 2020 when sites were closed for months as the coronavirus pandemic hit Britain.

Full-year car and van output will be below 1 million for a second consecutive year but is expected to return to above that level in 2022, the SMMT said, citing an independent forecast by AutoAnalysis.

“Britain’s automotive sector is

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Car production in July hits lowest level since 1956

Stock image of UK car production

Stock image of UK car production

UK car production fell sharply last month, marking the worst July performance for the industry since 1956, a trade group has said.

The global microchip shortage, staff being affected by the so-called pingdemic, and shutdowns meant just 53,438 cars were built in the month.

That was a drop of 37.6% compared to July last year, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

It comes as sales of second-hand vehicles are soaring.

Overall car production in the year to date is almost a fifth higher than during 2020 at 552,361 vehicles, but that is still 28.7% down on 2019 pre-pandemic levels.

UK car production graphic

UK car production graphic

SMMT boss Mike Hawes said the July figures “lay bare the extremely tough conditions UK car manufacturers continue to face”.

“While the impact of the ‘pingdemic’ will lessen as self-isolation rules change, the worldwide shortage of semiconductors

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UK car production in July at lowest level since 1956 amid ‘pingdemic’ and chip shortage

Potential customer walks around Charles Hurst Usedirect used car dealership on Boucher Road in Belfast as restrictions in Northern Ireland ease allowing new and used cars sales.

In July production for the UK market declined -38.7% to 8,233 while manufacturing for export also fell, down -37.4% with 45,205 cars shipped overseas. Photo: PA

UK car manufacturing declined to the lowest level since 1956 in July, down 37.6% due to global chip shortages and the ‘pingdemic’ slowing down production.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said some manufacturers had changed their summer shutdown timings to manage the rout. 

In July production for the UK market declined -38.7% to 8,233 while manufacturing for export also fell — down -37.4% with 45,205 cars shipped overseas. 

“These figures lay bare the extremely tough conditions UK car manufacturers continue to face,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT CEO.

Chart: SMMT

Chart: SMMT

Exports accounted for more than eight out of 10 (84.6%) vehicles built in the month as buyers around the world continued to be attracted to the wide range of high-quality cars made

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