Automotive News – November 2022

UK car production output returns to growth in October

  • UK car manufacturing output rises 7.4% in October as 69,524 units leave factory gates.
  • Production for home and overseas markets up 12.5% and 6.3% respectively.
  • Volumes year-to-date down -10.8% though output for UK market rises 8.8%.

UK car production returned to growth in October, rising 7.4% to 69,524 units, according to the latest figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The rise followed September’s fall, which came after four consecutive months of growth, illustrating how supply chain turbulence, in particular global chip shortages, continues to affect UK car manufacturers.


UK CV production up for 10th straight month in October

  • UK CV production rises 10.7% to 8,740 units, marking best October since 2019 and 10th consecutive month of growth this year.
  • Overseas demand grows by 50.2%, while production for domestic market falls -28.4%.
  • Year-to-date output increases 45.5% to 85,547 units, resulting in best performance since 2012.

UK commercial vehicle (CV) production grew by 10.7% in October, with 8,740 vans, buses, trucks, coaches and taxis rolling off British factory lines, according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Output in October was the highest for the month since 2019, as production volumes increased to round off 10 consecutive months of growth this year.


HGV registrations soar in best Q3 for half a decade

  • UK heavy goods vehicle (HGV) registrations climb by 30.1% to 10,034 units in Q3.
  • Best third quarter since 2017, driven by demand for artic trucks, up 53.1%, and rigids, up 15.8%.
  • Year-to-date market up 7.8%, but still -18.4% down against same period pre-pandemic figures.

New UK heavy goods vehicle (HGV) registrations increased by 30.1% in the third quarter of 2022, according to the latest figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The surge saw 10,034 units registered across the three months, demonstrating the best quarterly growth since Q3 2021 and driving volumes up 17.3% on Q3 figures in 2019 pre-pandemic.


Used car market down in Q3 but EV sales at record high.

  • UK used car transactions fall -12.2% in Q3 2022 with 1,785,447 vehicles changing hands.
  • Second consecutive quarter of decline as new car supply shortages hit volumes.
  • Battery electric vehicle demand continues rise as sales grow 44.1% to 16,775.

The UK’s used car market fell for the second consecutive quarter this year, declining -12.2% over the three months of July to September, according to the latest figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Some 1,785,447 vehicles changed hands, the first time that quarter three transactions have dipped below two million since 2015, as semiconductor shortages impacted supply of stock. In the year to date, sales are now down -9.7% to 5,319,482.


Bus and coach demand falls in Q3 but first ZEV funding delivers optimism

  • 754 new buses and coaches join UK roads in Q3, down -11.6% year on year and marking 2022’s first quarter of decline.
  • Registrations of minibuses, the largest segment by volume, fall -26.9% but new single and double decker’s rise 13.2% and 36.8% respectively.
  • YTD registrations up 8.1% overall, with further growth pegged on release of government ZEV funding, as sector calls for accelerated rollout to all regions.

Britain’s new bus and coach market fell -11.6% year on year to 754 units in the third quarter of 2022, according to figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The performance is some -43.7% below an already weak Q3 2019, primarily due to a long-term decline in passenger numbers yet to recover from the pandemic.


Luxury car manufacturing group Jaguar Land Rover is reducing production at a factory in the West Midlands until the spring.  It is due to continuing problems in obtaining enough computer chips for its latest models.

The reduction at factories in Solihull and in Halewood, Merseyside, is expected to affect the output of the Jaguar F-Pace and Land Rover Discovery Sport.

The move is understood to be temporary and JLR, which has its engine manufacturing centre at the i54, north of Wolverhampton, will focus instead on its more profitable models.


Ricardo has signed a memorandum of understanding with InoBat, a pioneer of premium electric vehicle battery R&D, engineering, production and recycling, jointly to supply battery cells, modules and packs to high-performance automotive manufacturers for their electrification programs.

Ricardo and InoBat will co-operate on the assembly, production and testing of cells, modules and full battery packs for a number of high-performance automotive applications. Drawing on its expertise in proprietary battery cell R&D and large-scale battery cell production, InoBat will manufacture, test and supply cells.


The London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) has announced that it will lay off 20% of its staff, which results in around 140 job losses at its Coventry factory in Ansty.

The automotive firm which manufactures electric black cabs and vans has said it’s been heavily impacted by the pandemic and is therefore looking to improve its cash flow.


Wrightbus secures £26 million government-backed support in global pursuit of green transport.

  • Wrightbus has already secured export contracts to Australia and Germany, with its sights set on expansion in Italy, France, Spain and Southeast Asia
  • This growth will boost jobs in Northern Ireland as Wrightbus looks to hire 300 new staff in the next year, after already expanding headcount by over 40% in the last 12 months

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is providing a Northern Ireland-based bus manufacturer with an 80 percent guarantee on its major financing deal from Barclays. The government guarantee is on an £18 million Green Trade Loan and £8 million Green Bank Guarantee, allowing Wrightbus to export its cutting-edge zero emission buses to new export markets.


Jaguar Land Rover enjoyed a 36% increase in second quarter revenues, but still recorded a pre-tax loss, albeit less than the same time last year.

However, the group has forecast positive profit and cashflow margins for the second half of the year.

The luxury car maker, which has production plants at Halewood in Merseyside and Solihull and Castle Bromwich in the West Midlands, published financials for the three months to September 30.


British van market down a fifth in October as short supply hits deliveries.

  • Britain’s new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market declines -18.4% in October, with 22,386 vans joining UK roads.
  • Registrations of large and mid-weight vans fall -7.6% and -50.7% respectively, but battery electric van (BEV) registrations grow 52.5%.
  • 2022 market outlook revised downwards, with action needed to maintain operator confidence and drive electric van uptake.

The UK’s new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market fell by -18.4% in October, with 22,386 of the latest vans joining Britain’s roads. Despite robust demand, registrations were at the lowest level for October since 2012, and some -16.5% below the pre-pandemic five-year average, as supply shortages continue to restrict global production and availability.


EVs energise new car market but charge point rollout must accelerate.

  • October new car registrations rise 26.4% in third month of growth, with hybrid and battery electric vehicles driving uplift.
  • Despite bumper month, market on course for weakest year since 1982 but recovery expected to continue in 2023.
  • Plug-ins account for 21.5% of new registrations but infrastructure rollout risks hampering government zero emission ambition.

The UK new car market recorded a third month of growth in October, with registrations rising by more than a quarter (26.4%) to 134,344 units, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Fulfilment of strong order books helped deliver the bounce-back, although the increase follows a particularly disappointing October 2021 when deliveries fell by -24.6%. In the year to date, the market is down -5.6% on the same period in 2021, but still a third below pre-Covid levels.


Luxury car maker, Bentley Motors, has recorded its best ever third quarter operating profits, for the first nine-month period of 2022, with a 109% improvement on the same period a year ago.

The Crewe-based manufacturer saw profits more than double to €575m. The previous best full year total for the group was €389m.

An encouraging 23.1% return on sales was the highest in Bentley’s 103-year history.

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