Car Production Up, But Down On 2019

Tue 29th Jun 2021

Motoring manufacturers have enjoyed an almost 1000 per cent increase in production in 2021, but there is some way to go before output gets back to pre-pandemic levels.

Figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders this week show that May 2021 was a bumper month compared to the previous May, however that is not really a huge achievement taking into account almost total lockdown in the spring of last year.

Data revealed that there were 54,962 cars produced in May, an increase of 934.3%, however that figure is not even half of the vehicles which were produced in a pre-covid May. Figures show that in May 2019 there were 116,035 units built.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: "May’s figures continue to look inflated when compared to last year’s near total standstill of production lines. The recovery of car production is, however, still massively challenged here and abroad by global supply shortages, particularly semiconductors.

"If the UK is to remain competitive, therefore, it must ensure it has a globally attractive policy framework for both vehicle production and the supply chain. 

"Accelerating zero-emission car production is part of this package, so while one in five models made here this year is alternatively fuelled, we need to drive investment in R&D, charging infrastructure and the market to ensure we can deliver the net-zero future society demands.”

There are some question marks too on whether the electric vehicle boom is continuing or if it has stalled. In 2020 19.2 per cent of cars were battery or hybrid, and this year that same ratio, a fifth of all cars are alternatively fuelled.