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UK February car production slumps 41% as chip shortages bite

UK February car production fell 41% year on year as computer chip shortages and the closure of a Honda plant in July disrupted output, according to industry data released Friday.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said 61,657 cars were made during the month, the lowest number for the time of year since February 2009 and down from 105,008 a year ago.

“The sector entered 2022 hopeful for recovery, but that recovery has not yet begun, and urgent action is now needed to help mitigate spiralling energy costs and ensure the sector remains globally competitive to encourage the investment essential to growth, job security and the delivery of net zero ambitions,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

“The automotive industry is undergoing its most radical transformation in more than a hundred years, but manufacturers are simultaneously facing the most extreme operating conditions as global economic headwinds drive up costs and constrain supply.”

The Russia-Ukraine war also hit production – with both nations sources for electric wiring and for aluminium, palladium and nickel used in batteries, the SMMT said.

Honda, which accounted for about 10% of British car production before the Covid pandemic, last year said it was closing its plant in Swindon, southern England, due to falling demand for its cars across Europe.

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