September saw the UK manufacture 39.8% more cars than it did during the same month in 2022, with 88,230 vehicles rolling out of factories.
The figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) make it the strongest September for three years, and the best month of growth of the year so far.
Output increased for both domestic and export markets, with production for the UK up 65.9% to 23,503 units and overseas shipments rising 32.2% to 64,727 units.
Notable growth was delivered in the US, China and Turkey. The EU, however, comfortably continues to be Britain’s leading trading partner, with 37,563 UK-built cars shipped there in September, up 46.1% year on year and representing 58% of the sector’s overseas trade.
Electric vehicles account for more than a third of shipments to global markets, an increase of over 26% from a year ago. The UK currently trades tariff-free with the EU thanks to the UK-EU Trade Cooperation Agreement, and the SMMT believes that this has to be maintained if this performance is to continue.
There are concerns about the effect of tougher rules of origin on EV batteries will have on prices next year.
“A particularly strong period of car making is good news for the UK, given the thousands of jobs and billions of pounds of investment that depend on the sector”, said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.
“With countries around the world shifting to zero-emission motoring, Britain is well placed to be a global EV manufacturing hub if the investment and trading conditions are right. Given the increasing importance of electrified car production, the first and urgent step is for the UK and EU to agree to delay the tougher rules of origin requirements that are due imminently.”
The SMMT’s view is that the UK car industry needs time to come to terms with these new rules, in order to scale up its gigafactories and develop greener supply chains.