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UK car manufacturing plummets as factories go electric

UK car manufacturing output decreased by 11.9% in May due to factories retooling for electric vehicles

UK car manufacturing output fell by 11.9% to 69,652 units in May, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Production for the UK market increased by 9.7% to 17,754 units, but this did not compensate for a 17.4% decline in export volumes, which stood at 51,898 units.

Despite the overall decrease, 74.5% of all cars built in Britain were exported to international markets, with over half going to the EU, followed by the US and Turkey.

Production of electrified vehicles, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid models, remained stable, with 26,475 units produced.

This represented 38.0% of the total output, an increase compared to May 2023.

Manufacturers are investing in greener product lines and technology to support Britain’s net zero goals.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “Massive change is underway in the UK’s car factories as manufacturers retool for new electric models.

“Amid strong international competition for green automotive investment, however, the UK needs to ensure it has the most attractive conditions for manufacturing businesses and a compelling offer for existing and new investors.

“Essential to this is a long term industrial strategy, which encompasses all industry, all stakeholders and all of government in the pursuit of sustainable and green growth.”

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