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UK car production boosted by luxury car exports

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Technicians inspect a Rolls-Royce car on the production line at the company’s Goodwood factory as luxury and specialty models exported abroad are growing again in car production. Photo: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

UK car production has increased due to an increase in exports of luxury vehicles, although it is still well below pre-pandemic levels.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said a total of 69,524 cars were produced in October, up 7.4% from the same month a year ago.

Exports of the latest and more expensive luxury and specialty models boosted production from the previous month, with most of it overseas.

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More than eight out of every 10 cars, equivalent to 56,469 units, were made for export, with more than half going to the European Union, as well as the US, Japan, South Korea, Australia and Turkey.

About 13,055 cars were produced for the domestic market.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “The return to growth for UK car production in October is welcome – although production is still well below pre-COVID levels amid parts supply issues.

“Getting the industry back on track by 2023 is a priority given the jobs, exports and economic contribution of the automotive industry.

Production of battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid (HEV) vehicles also increased in the UK, with a combined volume increase of 20.3% to 24,115 units.

“British carmakers are doing everything they can to ramp up production of the latest electrified vehicles and help deliver net zero, but more favorable investment terms are needed and there is an urgent need – especially affordable and availability of renewable energy and talent – ​​as part of of a supporting framework for automotive manufacturing,” says Hawes.

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Richard Pebirdie, head of automotive at KPMG, warned that rising energy prices could put further pressure on carmakers and “threaten the global competitiveness of the UK car industry”.

“The race to be seen as world leaders in electric vehicle production is well underway and the UK’s position to produce cars, vans and parts depends on significant investment in battery production and skills,” said Pebirdie. “

“It’s not clear at this point where it will come from.”

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