UK annual car output posts best growth rate since 2010 – SMMT

(Reuters) – Britain’s car output marked its best growth rate since 2010 last year as chip shortages and other supply chain snags eased and electric-vehicle (EV) production picked up, industry data showed on Thursday.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said 905,117 cars rolled out of factory gates in the country in 2023, which is 16.8% higher than the year earlier.

“Receding supply chain challenges, new model introductions and a massive 23.7 billion pounds ($30.20 billion) of investment put UK vehicle production firmly back on track in 2023,” said SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes.

Including commercial vehicles, the output touched more than 1 million, representing a 17% increase over 2022.

“The latest independent outlook foresees UK car and light van output rising by around 3% in 2024 to 1.04 million units, with the potential to exceed to 1.2 million units by the end of this decade,” Hawes added.

Production of battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid (HEV) vehicles in the UK surged 48% in 2023, accounting for almost two-fifths of the overall output.

The UK’s car industry, a significant driver of manufacturing and exports, got a boost in late December after the European Union and Britain agreed to give EV makers until the end of 2026 to comply with local content rules, delaying the imposition of tariffs on EVs traded with the UK.

For December, car production rose 20.7% to 61,768 units over the year earlier.

($1 = 0.7847 pounds)

(Reporting by Anchal Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)