Semiconductor shortages show ‘no sign of abating’ as parts blamed for production drop

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The Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said firms were “doing what it can to keep production going” but warned production rates were dramatically down. UK car manufacturing output fell by over 37 percent in July in the first major fall since February.

Just over 53,000 cars were made last month in the lowest July performance since 1956.

Total car production for the year now stands at over 550 000 units, down by over 200,000 on pre-pandemic levels.

However, total output was still up by over 18 percent on last year’s rates.

Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the SMMT said the Government could help the sector “boost its competitiveness” by reducing business rates.

He said: “These figures lay bare the extremely tough conditions UK car manufacturers continue to face.

“While the impact of the ‘pingdemic’ will lessen as self-isolation rules change, the worldwide shortage of semiconductors shows little sign of abating.

“The UK automotive industry is doing what it can to keep production lines going, testament to the adaptability of its workforce and manufacturing processes.

“But Government can help by continuing the supportive Covid measures currently in place and boosting our competitiveness with a reduction in energy levies and business rates for a sector that is strategically important in delivering net zero.”

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Jim Holder, editorial director of WhatCar? has warned it may not be until early 2022 until semiconductor issues are eased.

He warned the lack of parts was likely to mean customers faced “longer waiting times on certain models”.

He has also warned prospective buyers are set to have fewer options to choose from when making a new car purchase.

He said: “The industry crisis surrounding new car production is deepening as the microchip shortage continues.

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