The production of cars in the UK has more than halved compared to the same period before the COVID-19 pandemic, due at least in part to an on-going shortage of chips that are needed to power everything from engine management systems to in-car entertainment.
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), this May car manufacturers produced almost 55,000 vehicles in the UK – a number that, at first glance, seems healthy in comparison to the meagre 5,314 cars that were produced in the same month of the previous year.
But 2020’s statistics have to be put in context: with the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly gathering pace, factory lines came to a halt as most manufacturers decided to close their facilities altogether, in line with government guidance.
Car makers have called for smooth links “closer to home” following the UK’s free trade deal with Australia.
Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show the UK sold 20,000 cars to Australia in 2019, compared with 578,000 to the EU.
A Downing Street statement claimed the agreement with Australia means car makers in the Midlands and northern England will see “tariffs of up to 5% cut, boosting demand for their exports”.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Australia is an important growth market and the industry welcomes the agreement in principle of a trade deal between the two countries.
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“If tariffs can be
Henry Ford invested in steel production and Brazilian rubber. Today’s car makers are getting into batteries and software.
On Tuesday, Chrysler owner Stellantis and iPhone-assembler Foxconn, also known as
announced a joint venture to develop in-vehicle software and services. This is the latest in a long series of moves by auto makers to improve their supply chains for fully electric, digital vehicles.
Car makers want more control over components central to the performance and experience of EVs. But they don’t have a lot of experience with those parts, and face many competing claims for investment. JVs with specialist suppliers offer a solution.
Batteries, the single most expensive EV component, have been the chief focus so far.
has a JV with South Korean battery giant
to make cells; Stellantis and
have deals with European