LONDON (Reuters – The decline in British vehicle production was largely attributable to a worldwide shortage of semiconductor chip. Automakers had to close down plants or shut them down while they waited to get parts.
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, production dropped 6.7% between 2020 and 859 575 vehicles and 34% less than in pre-pandemic 2019.
Mike Hawes chief executive at SMMT told reporters that “Overall this was a very depressing year.” “The last quarter was a very difficult time for the impact of the semiconductors.”
The SMMT stated that it expects the shortage to improve this year, and cited independent production forecasts indicating that British vehicle output should rise 19.7% to over 1,000,000 vehicles.
Automakers have had to reduce or stop production due to the pandemic that has prompted a global shortage in chips. These chips are used in all aspects of auto electronics, including power steering and brake sensors. However, there is strong demand for used vehicles.
British car production fell partly due to the closure of Honda’s Swindon vehicle plant.
A bright spot is that the UK’s production of electric vehicles rose by 72% in 2013.
SMMT stated earlier in the month that full-electric BEVs accounted to 11.6% sales in 2021 – which is more than the combined sales of 2016 through 2020.
Hawes stated that, while Brexit had caused additional costs for automakers in 2021 to deal with increased bureaucracy with the European Union in trade, it had also prevented the tariffs that could have been enacted if there was a breakup with the bloc.
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