UK car production in March lowest since 2009 financial crisis – SMMT


Imported cars are parked in a storage area at the Port of Sheerness, Sheerness, Britain October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

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April 28 (Reuters) – Car production in Britain fell by around a third last month, marking the weakest March since the 2009 financial crisis, as a global chip shortage and conflict in Ukraine rattled manufacturers, industry data showed on Thursday.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said 76,900 cars were produced in March, down from 115,498 last year, and attributed the 33.4% drop mainly to lower production for markets strangers.

The auto industry has been reeling from soaring metal and energy prices, supply chain groans from the pandemic and a shortage of semiconductor chips that has also hurt other sectors. .

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Today, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – a major automotive hub – has left automakers scrambling to find alternative supplies of vital parts. Russia and Ukraine are sources of electrical wiring and aluminum, palladium and nickel used in batteries.

The challenges meant 100,000 fewer cars were made in the first three months of the year compared to 2021, according to SMMT data, with production in the quarter falling 32.4%.

“The recovery has yet to begin and in an increasingly difficult economic environment, including escalating energy costs, urgent action is needed to protect the competitiveness of UK industry,” said SMMT Managing Director Mike Hawes.

The industry body called on the government to cut energy costs to the same level given to other energy-intensive industries, and called for access to low-cost, low-carbon energy. carbon as the shift to electric vehicles accelerates.

Earlier this month, Britain extended a program to help energy-intensive industries such as steel cope with soaring electricity costs, which have also hit new highs this year following the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.

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Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri

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