Automotive News – Late April 2021

UK car production rises on anniversary of pandemic-driven factory shuttering

  • March UK car output grows 46.6% against Covid hit 2020 when pandemic forced factories to close.
  • Monthly performance down -22.8% on five-year March average and Q1 down -4.0% year-on-year.
  • Companies continue to wrestle with global supply chain issues, impact of new EU trading arrangements and Covid recovery at home and abroad.
  • New SMMT member survey reveals nine-in-ten companies expending additional resource managing UK/EU trade requirements with six-in-ten large firms expecting Covid recovery to take at least six months.

UK car production rose 46.6% in March, the first increase after 18 months of decline, with 115,498 cars manufactured, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).1 The performance marks one year since the coronavirus crisis caused all UK automotive plants to be shuttered in mid-March 2020, after only 78,767 cars had left factory gates that month.


UK engine production rises 31.7% in March

  • March UK engine production rises 31.7% in 2021, compared with Covid-hit month a year ago.
  • Output for domestic and overseas markets increases 50.4% and 19.9% respectively.
  • Performance in first quarter still down -11.1%, with 534,793 engines manufactured.

UK commercial vehicle (CV) manufacturing up 16.9% in March, one year on from pandemic shuttering factories

  • 6,166 vehicles manufactured in March, up 16.9% compared to lockdown-led factory shutdowns a year ago.
  • March output remains significantly down on pre-pandemic levels, -32.2% on five-year average for the month.1
  • Domestic market sees bigger increase than overseas, as manufacturers adjust to new EU trading arrangements and grapple with renewed lockdown restrictions worldwide.


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