The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has issued a report that affects every single one of us working in the UK automotive sector. It states in plain and simple language that British car manufacturing output has declined massively, down 37.6% in July with just 53,438 units made.
Why does it affect all of us, if so many of us don’t actually sell UK-manufactured vehicles? Because the SMMT spells out that global issues such as Covid and the subsequent shortage of microchips is a key factor in the slump. And, as we have seen, these factors are affecting every single car manufacturer wherever they are.
Covid, says the SMMT, shows its face in the form of the so-called ‘pingdemic’ which had forced so many people to take time off work.
Let’s also note that the SMMT says this fall in production “represented the worst July performance since 1956 as manufacturers grappled with the global shortage of semiconductors and staff absence”.
The positive coming out of all this is that production is still up 18.3% when compared to Covid-decimated 2020…but it’s down 28.7% on 2019 in a pre-pandemic world.
Let’s also note something that the SMMT doesn’t touch on, but which we feel is significant. Very many sectors within the UK are reporting a desperate search for delivery drivers. You may have witnessed some empty shelves at your local Aldi or Sainsbury’s. Many haulage companies are directly blaming Brexit which, they say, prompted many reliable drivers to return to their European homes.
So we can see that many factors, from Covid and Brexit, which have knock-on effects on deliveries and component availability, are conspiring against the UK motor manufacturing industry. But the story is the same the world over.