UK car production hits record high

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【Summary】UK car manufacturing experienced its strongest month of growth this year in September, with a nearly 40% increase in production, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Output rose for both domestic and export markets, highlighting the importance of maintaining tariff-free trade with the EU under the UK-EU Trade Cooperation Agreement.

FutureCar Staff    Nov 06, 2023 5:17 AM PT
UK car production hits record high

UK car manufacturing experienced significant growth in September, with a nearly 40% increase compared to previous months, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) (source: i). This positive trend is particularly good news for the UK, as it supports numerous jobs and attracts billions of pounds in investment.

In September, a total of 88,230 vehicles were produced in British factories, marking a 39.8% uplift and making it the best September since 2020. Both domestic and export markets experienced growth, with UK production increasing by 65.9% to 23,503 units, and overseas shipments rising by 32.2% to 64,727 units.

The SMMT emphasized the importance of maintaining tariff-free trade, especially with mainland Europe, where the trade of electric vehicles (EVs) has more than doubled in value over the past three years. The UK-EU Trade Cooperation Agreement (TCA) outlines the current tariff-free trade, but new rules of origin for batteries will be implemented starting next year. The SMMT warns that these rule changes could threaten the competitiveness of UK exports to the EU and EU imports to the UK market, potentially resulting in a 10% tariff. This could increase the average cost of UK-built battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by £3,600 in Europe and raise the price of EU-made BEVs sold in the UK by an average of £3,400.

To maintain competitiveness and support British and European manufacturers, the SMMT suggests a three-year delay in implementing the new requirements. This delay could be achieved through the existing TCA framework without the need for formal renegotiation.

Andrew Whicher, Product Director at Cooper Solutions, expressed optimism about the strong performance of UK car manufacturing in September. He highlighted the growth of UK-made electric vehicles, positioning Britain as a leading EV manufacturing hub, particularly for EU countries.

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