UK automobile manufacturing topped the 1 million mark signalling a revival of the trade’s fortunes, in accordance with the newest figures from the Society of Motor Producers and Merchants (SMMT).
The easing of pandemic-related challenges, from chip shortages to lockdowns, and rising electrified mannequin manufacturing, mixed to drive annual output to 1,025,474 models – the primary time since 2019.
Robust December performances for each automobile manufacturing, up 20.7% 12 months on 12 months, and CV volumes, up 80.3%, rounded off a constructive 12 months in 2023.
With 905,117 automobiles and 120,357 business autos (CVs) produced, output was up 17.0% on the earlier 12 months.
Eight all-new fashions entered manufacturing in 2023, together with on the newly reopened Ellesmere Port EV solely plant, whereas some £23.7 billion of personal and public funding commitments have been made – greater than within the earlier seven years mixed – from Cowley to Sunderland; gigafactories to R&D services.
The SMMT stated these commitments will drive inexperienced financial progress, create jobs nationwide and transition the sector to electrified automobile manufacturing. UK manufacturing of battery electrical (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid (HEV) autos surged to 346,451 models, up 48.0% on the 12 months earlier than to account for nearly two fifths (38.3%) of total output.
General, UK automobile manufacturing rose 16.8% in 2023, its finest progress price since 2010, with the full retail worth of all fashions made coming in at greater than £50 billion.
Whereas 191,247 automobiles have been constructed for home patrons, the lion’s share of output was shipped abroad, proof of the contribution automotive exports make to the UK financial system. Yr on 12 months, exports rose 17.6% in contrast with a 13.7% rise in output for the British market.
The EU remained by far the sector’s largest international market, taking 60.3% of exports, with shipments up virtually 1 / 4 (23.2%) to 430,411 models.
The US was the following greatest vacation spot with a ten.3% share of exports (73,571 models), adopted by China with 7.2% (51,202 models), regardless of shipments to each slipping by -9.1% and -2.7% respectively. Turkey, conversely, noticed exports surge 223.8% to 27,346 models, making it the UK’s fourth greatest international market forward of Japan, Australia, South Korea, Canada, UAE and Switzerland.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Govt, stated: “Receding provide chain challenges, new mannequin introductions and an enormous £23.7bn of funding put UK automobile manufacturing firmly again on monitor in 2023. Trade will now concentrate on the supply of those commitments, transitioning the sector at tempo to electrical and scaling up the availability chain. With international competitors as fierce because it has ever been and amid escalating geopolitical tensions, each authorities and trade should stay singularly centered on competitiveness, with all the roles and progress this may deliver. We’re in a a lot better place than a 12 months in the past, however the challenges are unrelenting.”
Regardless of difficult market circumstances, British specialist, luxurious and efficiency automobile makers had one other bumper 12 months, with mixed volumes climbing 6.3% to 34,613 models, value an estimated £7.1bn. Two high-performance all new electrical fashions entered manufacturing, in Goodwood and Hethel, proof of how electrification is being embraced by producers proper throughout the sector.
The sector additionally obtained a lift on the very finish of 2023 with the deferral of harder guidelines of origin for batteries and EVs traded between the UK and EU. The transfer will assist safeguard the competitiveness of the sector within the UK and Europe, offering priceless time for native battery and related part manufacturing to ramp up.
2024 is a pivotal 12 months to make this occur however headwinds stay, most instantly with assaults on transport within the Crimson Sea elevating the spectre of delays and value pressures.
Nevertheless, with the upcoming risk of UK-EU guidelines of origin tariffs overcome, the newest impartial outlook foresees UK automobile and light-weight van output rising by round 3% in 2024 to 1.04 million models with the potential to exceed 1.2 million models by the tip of this decade.
To attain this, the UK should guarantee it stays aggressive, and so the forthcoming Funds is a chance for presidency to introduce measures that may increase the sector. The SMMT stated these ought to embody extending Local weather Change Agreements so electrical automobile battery-manufacturing and its related provide chain are eligible for reduction; making inexperienced power extensively out there and reasonably priced; delivering on commitments to enhance grid connections; and taking motion to shut important labour and expertise gaps.
Speedy supply of the federal government’s Superior Manufacturing Plan, full implementation of the Harrington Evaluate suggestions, plus a commerce coverage that locations automotive on the coronary heart of all future negotiations would additionally assist the UK consolidate its restoration and turn into a world chief in more and more electrified automobile manufacturing.