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More than one million vehicles built in UK last year

The number of vehicles built in the UK topped one million last year for the first time since 2019, new figures show (Joe Giddens/PA)
The number of vehicles built in the UK topped one million last year for the first time since 2019, new figures show (Joe Giddens/PA)

The number of vehicles built in the UK topped one million last year for the first time since 2019, new figures show.

A total of 1,025,474 cars and commercial vehicles were built, an increase of 17% on the previous year, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The easing of pandemic-related issues such as chip shortages and lockdowns, as well as increasing electrified model production, combined to drive the increase in production, said the SMMT, adding that the industry’s fortunes have been “revived”.

A number of new models entered production in 2023, while around £23.7 billion of private and public investment commitments were made.

Cars manufactured in the UK
(PA Graphics)

Production of battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid (HEV) vehicles increased to 346,451 units, up 48% on the year before, to account for almost two-fifths of overall output.

The EU remained the sector’s biggest global market, taking 60% of exports, with the United States the next biggest destination, followed by China.

Exports to Turkey increased, making it the UK’s fourth biggest global market.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Receding supply chain challenges, new model introductions and a massive £23.7 billion of investment put UK vehicle production firmly back on track in 2023.

“Industry will now focus on the delivery of these commitments, transitioning the sector at pace to electric and scaling up the supply chain.

“With global competition as fierce as it has ever been and amid escalating geopolitical tensions, both government and industry must remain singularly focused on competitiveness, with all the jobs and growth this will bring.

“We are in a much better position than a year ago, but the challenges are unrelenting.”

The SMMT added that specialist, luxury and performance car makers had another “bumper” year, with combined volumes increasing by more than 6% to 34,613 units, worth an estimated £7.1 billion.