Automotive News – Late November 2021

Nissan stresses the importance of UK plant in global electric vehicle investment.

The Japanese firm said it will spend more than £13 billion on developing electric vehicles globally in the next five years.

Nissan bosses have backed its UK plant as they announced plans to spend more than £13 billion globally on developing electric vehicles.

At a news conference in Japan the car manufacturer, which has a major plant in Sunderland, revealed it will develop 23 new electric models by 2030.  By that time, the firm aims for half of its global output to be made up of electric vehicles.


UK car production dropped by more than 40% last month to the lowest level recorded for October since 1956.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said the fall was due to “a global shortage of semiconductors which led to production stoppages”.

It added that the decline, compared to last year, was exacerbated by the closure of a Honda plant in Swindon at the end of July.  “These figures are extremely worrying,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

He added that they “show how badly the global semiconductor shortage is hitting UK car manufacturers and their suppliers”.


Police cars are some of the hardest-worked vehicles on the road, with the demands of round-the-clock service, every day of the year.  To help meet this challenge, Toyota has been working closely with a police force to develop the strengths of its UK-built Corolla as a reliable and hard-wearing patrol car.

The Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK) plant at Burnaston has an established relationship with its local Derbyshire constabulary, having developed its Corolla Touring Sports model for Toyota’s “blue light” public sector fleet service. That’s led to closer collaboration with the force to design-in more features that make the model an even stronger proposition for police duties.

Damage caused to police cars from having to drive over speed humps or high kerbs was a particular consideration. TMUK responded by taking the Corolla Trek – a special version of the Touring Sports estate model – and fitting it with a rough-road pack, raising its ride height so there’s less risk of damage to the body and wheel arches. Derby police also asked for built-in satellite navigation, parking sensors, a dog guard for the load space and steel wheels – including a full-size spare.


Volta Trucks, a leading and disruptive full-electric commercial vehicle manufacturer and services provider, has started production of the first road-going ‘Design Verification’ (DV) prototype Volta Zero vehicle at a bespoke facility in Coventry, UK.

The DV prototypes are the first full-electric Volta Zero vehicles to be built in the recently unveiled production-ready design. A total of 25 vehicles will be manufactured and once completed in January, the fleet will embark on a rigorous testing regime. This will involve Volta Trucks engineers replicating a wide range of customer usage and delivery cycles, as well as taking the Volta Zero to the extremes of cold weather environments in the Arctic, hot weathers in equatorial conditions, and crash testing, all to validate the safety, durability, and reliability of the vehicle.

The results of the comprehensive DV testing programme will be fed into the final prototype stage – ‘Production Verification’ (PV).


Five of Japan’s largest vehicle manufacturers – Subaru, Toyota, Mazda, Kawasaki and Yamaha – have jointly detailed a plan to safeguard the future of the internal combustion engine.

Speaking together at the Super Taikyu Race in Okayama earlier this week, representatives from each of the firms vowed to collaborate on “expanding fuel options” using existing ICE technology, bucking a wider industry trend towards full electrification.

The companies “intend to unite and pursue the three initiatives of participating in races using carbon-neutral fuels; exploring the use of hydrogen engines in two-wheeled and other vehicles; and continuing to race using hydrogen engines.”


HGV market declines -8.4% in Q3 2021

  • UK HGV market declines -8.4% in the third quarter, with 7,715 vehicles registered.
  • New truck registrations down on subdued Q3 2020 and -9.8% on a particularly weak Q3 pre-pandemic 2019.
  • 27,272 trucks registered in the first three quarters of the year, down -24.3% on pre-pandemic 2019.


Bus and coach registrations decline by almost a fifth in Q3 2021

  • 853 vehicles registered in Q3 2021, down -19.8% on 2020, and 500 units or -37.0% short of 2019 out turn.
  • Double-deck bus market declines -63.6% in Q3 as long-term low passenger numbers continue to hamper demand.
  • Market falls -10.2% on first nine months of 2020, with 2,584 vehicles registered year-to-date – 1,437 fewer than the pre-pandemic five-year average.

The UK new bus and coach market fell by -19.8% in the third quarter, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a deeply disappointing decline following a 2020 performance devastated by Covid.

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