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Automobile production is increasing, but the industry is still facing challenges – SMMT

The number of cars built in the UK has increased over the past month, but production is still at pre-pandemic levels, new figures show.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said 68,306 cars were built in April, compared to 197 a year ago when Covid restrictions effectively halted production.

So far this year UK factories have produced 374,864 cars, a 15% decrease from the same four month period in 2019.

Compared to the five-year average, production declined 42.9% last month and nearly a third from January through April, according to the SMMT.

The situation for UK automakers remains challenging, especially given the global shortage of semiconductors affecting performance

Mike Hawes, SMMT

The trade numbers said April’s numbers also showed the increasing shift towards electrified vehicles, with more than one in five cars being battery-electric, plug-in hybrids and hybrids.

In the course of the year to date, alternatively operated model production has increased by a third compared to the same period in 2019.

The European Union remains the top destination for British cars with 52% of all exports, followed by the US (17.4%) and China (7.4%), according to the SMMT.

CEO Mike Hawes said, “April numbers have always been exceptional as factories closed around this time last year amid the first wave of the pandemic.

“The situation for UK automakers remains challenging, however, especially given the global shortage of semiconductors that are affecting performance.

“While it is good news that the UK is back on track with its Covid roadmap, we still need strong domestic demand and, given our export-oriented, confident overseas markets, a recovery for both the automotive sector and the broader one Economy. “

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