Government ‘must offer guidance and support’ for car trade as production rises

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has revealed that the UK automotive industry saw a 31.6 percent increase during October 2023, compared to 12 months earlier.

During the month, UK factories produced 91,521 vehicles, with a particular increase in the number of electric and hybrid models.

Commenting on the figures, John Veichmanis, CEO of Carwow, noted that the rise in production of EVs proves the UK is making good progress for the future.

He said: “It is great to see UK car production has risen again – the eight month of growth this year – and particularly promising to see a significant rise in the UK production of battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid (HEV) vehicles.

“These figures, together with a number of significant investment announcements – most notably the Chancellor’s £2billion commitment in the Autumn Statement for future zero emissions – puts the UK in a much stronger position in terms of a successful transition to EVs, but there is still some way to go if we are to convince motorists to make the change.”

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According to the SMMT, the UK has built over 882,000 vehicles during between January and October, an increase of 16.7 compared to the same period of 2022.

However, whilst the industry continues to grow, it is still yet to reach pre-pandemic levels, thanks in part to supply chain issues causing delays and higher new car prices.

To aid the industry, the Government recently announced a £20billion investment for the automotive industry to aid research and development of new models and help convert factories to produce electric vehicles.

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Mark Tisshaw, editor of AutoCar Business, was also pleased with the figures, however warned that it should not be taken as an excuse for the government to withdraw support.

He explained: “While industry keeps its foot on the accelerator, we need to make sure that there is an appetite for the uptake of EVs, which are rolling out of factories in increasing numbers.

“The government must offer guidance and support to ensure that the next generation of EVs are affordable and attractive to private owners, while also democratising UK charging infrastructure.”

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