UK Car Production Declines as Industry Shifts Towards Electric Vehicles

Renault Commits $320 Million and Plans to Hire 550 Employees for Electric Van Production in Northern France

In March, Britain‘s car production saw a significant decline of 27.1% compared to the same month last year, influenced by manufacturers phasing out older models and transitioning to electric vehicle (EV) production. This data was reported by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) on Thursday.

Renault Commits $320 Million and Plans to Hire 550 Employees for Electric Van Production in Northern France

According to a production outlook report by AutoAnalysis, it’s projected that UK car and light van production will decrease by 6.2% to approximately 940,000 units this year, mainly due to these model transitions. This marks the first decline in car output in six months, occurring during a period of increased investment in EV production by major industry players like Nissan and Tata, who are investing heavily to support their EV strategies and help the UK achieve its net zero goals.

SMMT has noted that manufacturers are providing “generous incentives” to encourage the shift towards zero-emission vehicles and has urged the government to offer more incentives for private retail buyers.

The reduction in March’s production figures was also attributed in part to fewer trading days due to the Easter holiday. Production figures for the month stood at 59,467 vehicles, down from 81,605 in March of the previous year.

Despite the overall decline, EV production, which now constitutes over a third of total production, also saw a drop of about 30% year-on-year, primarily due to the same model changeovers. However, the production of battery-electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and hybrid (HEV) vehicles surged by 48% in 2023.

“This fall is not unexpected given the wholesale changes taking place within UK car factories as existing models are run out and more plants transition to electric vehicle production,” said SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes. He also indicated that “We can expect further volatility throughout 2024 as manufacturers lay the foundations for a successful zero-emission future.”

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Pooja Chauhan

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