UK car production rose significantly, but “artificially” highlighted SMMT, according to the body’s latest figures released this week.

Britain made 68,306 cars compared to just 197 a year ago when Covid restrictions halted manufacturing, however this was -3.8% below the April 2019 output. So far this year UK factories have turned out 374,864 cars, with April’s performance offsetting earlier declines to drive a 17.3% overall increase, but -15.0% down on the same four-month period in 2019. Compared with a five-year average, production was down -42.9% for the month and -31.1% for the period January – April.

These figures indicate UK automotive manufacturing’s increasing shift towards electrified vehicles. In April, 22.8% of all UK car manufacturing was for battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid cars, while in the year-to-date alternatively fuelled model production is up 33.1% on the same period in 2019.

Production for the UK market has declined -3.1% compared to last year, while car exports have risen 22.5% with more than eight in every ten (83.3%) cars made shipped overseas. The European Union remains by far the most important destination for British cars (52.1% of all exports), followed by the US (17.4%) and China (7.4%).