British car production “fell” in July to the lowest level of the month since 1956

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Auto production “fell” last month amid staff shortages due to the “pingemia” and the global shortage of microchips, research shows.

Just under 53,500 cars were built in July, a drop of 37.6% from the same month last year, and the worst performance in July since 1956, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT ).

Summer plant closures also affected production, which fell 38% for the UK to 8,233, while manufacturing for export fell 37.4% to 45,205.

One in five cars made in July ran on alternative fuel, their highest share on record, the SMMT said.

More than a quarter of all cars manufactured in July were either battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrids (PHEV) or electric hybrids (HEV), their highest share on record.

Exports accounted for more than eight in ten vehicles built last month.

Auto production remains up 18.3% from Covid-hit 2020 at 552,361 units, but is down 28.7% from levels before the 2019 pandemic, the SMMT said, adding that production had plummeted last month.

Managing Director Mike Hawes said: “These figures lay bare the extremely difficult conditions that UK carmakers continue to face.

“While the impact of ‘pingemia’ will diminish as the rules for self-isolation change, the global semiconductor shortage shows little sign of abating.

“The UK auto industry is doing what it can to keep production lines running, demonstrating the adaptability of its workforce and manufacturing processes, but the government can help by continuing measures to Covid support currently in place and by strengthening our competitiveness with a reduction in energy taxes. and trade tariffs for an industry that is strategically important to achieving net zero.

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