Despite soaring sales of electric cars (EVs), UK automobile manufacturing decreased by 28.7% in November to 75,756 units, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The latest numbers show that UK automakers have been in decline for the fifth month in a row, with November’s performance being the lowest since 1984, as the global chip shortage continues to bite.

It also accounts for the loss of output caused by the summer closure of a UK auto manufacturer, which will affect year-over-year comparisons until July of 2022. Battery electric, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid automobile production in the United Kingdom hit a new high last month, accounting for roughly a third (32.7%) of all cars produced in the month and more than a quarter (25.5%) year-to-date.

In November, electric vehicle manufacturing increased by 52.9 percent to 10,359 units, reaching a new high of 13.7 percent of total production, more than double what it was a year ago. Purchases of electric vehicles have soared as the UK moves closer to a blanket ban on fossil-fuel-powered vehicles by 2030.

However, MPs on the PAC (Public Accounts Committee) cautioned this year that meeting the UK’s 2030 aim will be difficult. “These are tremendously troubling data, reflecting the gravity of the situation confronting the automobile sector,” said Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT. Covid is having a significant impact on supply chains, resulting in worldwide shortages – particularly of semiconductors – that are expected to continue until next year. The situation is the most difficult in decades, with a gloomier economic backdrop, rising prices, and a resurgent Covid at home and abroad. “With output down dramatically for the last five months and expected to continue, managing cash flow is critical, particularly in the supply chain.” We must look to the government for assistance in the same way that it recognizes other Covid-affected industries.”

“The industry is as well ready as it can be for the installation of the full customs controls at United Kingdom borders on January 1st,” he continued, “but any delays resulting from ill-equipped freight or systems would put further burden on businesses that run ‘just in time.'”

If any obstacles occur, contingency plans must be put in place right away to maintain cross-border trade moving.” The global semiconductor scarcity, according to executives from Intel and Acer, will last until at least next year, hurting most industries that rely on chips for production.

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