Car production in UK drops to lowest in 66 years
Britain's 2021 car production has dropped to the lowest in 66 years since 1956, owing to the semiconductor shortage, disruptions created by the Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of a Honda factory as well, reports Reuters.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has said that 859,575 cars were built in the UK in 2021, which was 6.7 lower than what the production registered in 2020. The number recorded last year was also less than a third compared to what was registered in 2019 when more than 1.3 million cars were rolled out by the UK's car industry. Interestingly, 2020 was also the year that witnessed major disruptions due to the novel Coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking about UK's car production slump last year, SMMT CEO Mike Hawes has said that 2021 was another incredibly difficult year for UK car manufacturing, one of the worst since the Second World War.
The semiconductor shortage that disrupted the whole world has impacted auto industry operations massively. UK car industry too faced major hit due to that. The auto industry had to slow down its production pace impacting the vehicle rollout and eventually deliveries as well. Closure of car showrooms due to lockdown in early 2021, Covid cases among the auto industry workers, financial stress dampening consumer sentiment have impacted the auto industry's overall business operations.
Japanese auto giant Honda closed its Swindon car plant in southern England in July last year. This too resulted in an overall slump in UK's car production numbers. Honda accounted for around 10 per cent of total British car production before the pandemic. However, it cited low sales across Europe as the reason behind the Swindon plant closure.
Brexit too had a major impact on UK's auto industry. More than 80 per cent of British car production is exported, majorly to the European Union. The new trade barriers have been a major concern for car manufacturers who rely on the swift cross-border delivery of components and finished vehicles.