While the UK automotive sector had a disappointing year in 2022, the head of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says that the growing production of electric vehicles provides the industry with some cause for optimism.
Overall car manufacturing fell by 9.8% to a level of 775,014 units last year, mostly driven by structural changes in the country, persistent issues in the supply chain, and one of the UK’s large car plants closing.
Nevertheless, SMMT CEO Mike Hawes pointed to some positive results for last year: EVs were produced in record numbers, with 234,066 battery, plug-ins and hybrid vehicles coming off production lines in British factories last year. Almost a third of new cars were electrified in some way. EVs also accounted for just under half of UK car exports by value, having grown from previous level of £1.3 billion in 2017 to £10 billion last year.
In a CEO update, Hawes also pointed to other reasons to be positive about the coming year:
“The latest independent production outlook offers some optimism too for the year ahead, with semiconductor chip shortages beginning to ease. It forecasts car and light van output to rise by 15% – an uplift worth some £3.9 billion. By 2025, light vehicle production volumes are projected to surpass a million vehicles…”
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