UK car production fell -41.5% in September with 67,169 cars manufactured according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Output continues to be hampered by the production stoppages caused by the ongoing global shortage of semiconductors as well as the loss of production capacity arising from the closure of one of the UK’s larger plants, SMMT outlined.

SMMT has also revealed the details of its member survey into the impact of the global shortage of semiconductors on the UK automotive sector and its vital supply chain. More than eight in 10 (83%) firms have been negatively impacted by the situation, primarily due to reduced orders, cost increases, logistical delays and disruption.

The supply chain has spent more than £2.4 billion to date managing additional costs which are unlikely to be recovered, with most (56%) not expecting supply constraints to improve until the third quarter of 2022 and more than a third (38%) having to reduce operating hours to cope with the challenge.

Positively and despite the ongoing challenges, production of the latest battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid (HEV) cars continues to break records, now representing almost a third (32.3%) of all cars made, equivalent to 21,679 units.1 It means UK car factories have turned out 158,710 alternatively fuelled cars since January.

Both production for domestic and export markets fell significantly during the month, down -47.4% and -39.6%, respectively with just 52,872 cars shipped overseas. The decrease in exports was caused by a decline of exactly a third to the EU as well as falls in exports to Turkey, Australia and the USA which dropped -97.4%, -71.4% and -60.2% respectively.

Production year-to-date remains marginally up, by 3.8%, with 656,776 cars rolling off factory lines, which has largely been driven by exports with 82.7% of production heading for markets abroad. However, this does not paint the full picture, with the year-to-date total down -33.5% over the 2019 performance and -44.1% less when compared to the five-year pre-pandemic average.