The United Kingdom’s car production has plummeted to its lowest level since 1953, due to a combination of economic pressures and the global semiconductor shortage. According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), UK car manufacturing fell by 41% in April 2021 compared with 12 months earlier.
This is not only bad news for those employed in the automotive industry but also for British consumers who are now facing higher prices on cars imported from abroad. The SMMT estimates that this could lead to an additional £1 billion being added onto vehicle costs over 2021-2022, as well as longer waiting times for new vehicles.
The government is attempting to mitigate these effects through various initiatives such as grants and loans aimed at supporting automakers during this difficult period, however it remains unclear if these measures will be enough or how long they will take before making any significant impact on UK car production levels. In addition, there have been calls from some quarters within the industry for greater investment into research & development so that Britain can remain competitive in an increasingly globalised market place where other countries may benefit more from technological advances than we do here domestically.