UK car exports dipped in September, despite continued rise of electric vehicles

Fri 28 Oct 2022
Posted by: Richard Cree
Trade News

UK auto manufacturing - SMMT reports drop in production

UK car manufacturing and exports fell in September for the first time in four months, according to new figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

UK car manufacturing output fell by 6.0% in September, with the number of cars produced restricted by global supply chain issues. The 63,125 cars manufactured last month represents a 48% drop on the same period before the pandemic in 2019.

Exports declined by 7.4% to 48,956 units with reductions in volumes shipped to the EU, US and China. There were some bright spots, with exports to South Korea, Australia and Turkey up.

A spark of hope

There was better news for the makers of all types of electric vehicles, as battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid (HEV) vehicles continued a recent upward trend, growing almost 10% for the month to a record share of 37.8%.

According to new SMMT analysis, there is compelling evidence to show the growing importance to the UK economy of the export of electric vehicles.

It claims that over the last five years the value of electric vehicle exports has risen sixfold (from £1.3 billion to £7.9 billion) and now represents over 36% of the value of all car exports.

BEVs, it adds, are of particular importance to the UK economy, with the value of their exports having increased by 1,457% since 2017 to £1.3 billion.

A time for action

Despite these positive long-term trends, export numbers for 2022 remain depressed with overall car production in the UK for the year-to-date down 12.6%. This decline is driven by lower exports, which are down 16.9 compared to 2021.

The SMMT issued a plea to the new government to act to deliver new frameworks for energy security and a competitive business environment.

“With the right competitive framework covering energy and business costs, supply chain security, skills, innovation and investment, the industry will not simply recover, but thrive in the global economy.”