UK car production fell by more than 40 per cent in September, representing the third consecutive month of decline, according to new figures.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said that 67,169 cars were manufactured during the ninth months of the year, a drop of 41.5 per cent and the worst performing September since 1982.
Both production for domestic and export markets fell during the month, down 47.4 per cent and 39.6 per cent respectively, with 52,872 cars shipped overseas.
However, production of the latest battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid (HEV) cars continues to break records, now representing 32.3 per cent of all cars made, equivalent to 21,679 units. It means UK car factories have turned out 158,710 alternatively fuelled cars since January.
The news comes as SMMT reveals details of its member survey into the impact of the global shortage of semiconductors on the UK automotive sector.
According to the survey, 83 per cent of 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 £2.4bn to date managing additional costs, with 56 per cent not expecting supply constraints to improve until the third quarter of 2022 and 38 per cent having to reduce operating hours to cope with the challenge.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “The substantial decline in UK car output in September continues the worrying trend we have seen over the past three months.
“The industry is continuing to battle the effects of the pandemic with the shortage of semiconductors stalling production. Whilst there was welcome news in the Budget to support the transition to zero emission vehicle production, battery manufacturing and supply chains, it missed the opportunity to offer meaningful short-term support given Covid-related supply constraints and rising energy bills.
“This is disappointing given the sector’s importance and its ability to create well-paid jobs across the regions and the revenues it generates, notably from exports.”