UK auto production suffered a sharp 37.6 percent drop in its worst July performance since 1956, official figures announced today.
In total, only 53,438 engines rolled off the assembly lines in UK factories last month as manufacturers saw their first drop in production since February.
Industry executives said production had collapsed as manufacturers grappled with the global shortage of semiconductors and staff shortages due to the “pingdemic”.
Chip Shortage Slows Production: Production of cars in UK factories fell 37.6% in July as manufacturers were forced to halt production due to a lack of parts
Records show that total production rose only 18.3 percent (or 552,361 cars) year over year in 2021, when manufacturers were forced to close operations at the height of the lockdown and then work with reduced headcount.
Compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, production is 28.7 percent below pace.
The numbers were also the last month production was recorded at Honda’s Swindon factory, with the production line officially closed last month with the factory closing and production being relocated back to Japan.
Before the pandemic broke out, Honda was the UK’s fifth largest automaker, producing around 110,000 Civic hatchbacks annually.
Honda’s UK car plant in Swindon officially ceased production of Civics last month, meaning the 110,000 vehicles produced at the site each year will fade from future records
The greatest burden for manufacturers at the moment is undoubtedly the global shortage of semiconductor computer chips, which is causing enormous delays for vehicle manufacturers around the world.
Last week it was reported that Jaguar Land Rover warned customers about years of waiting for some new models to arrive as factories were forced to pause building new cars due to insufficient computer chips.
Volkswagen also said over the past seven days that it expects further restrictions on the production of its vehicles around the world, as 100,000 fewer cars were made in 2021 than originally forecast.
Toyota, which had chips in stock for years, said supplies are running low and will cut its global passenger car production by 40 percent from September.
General Motors, Ford, Nissan, Daimler, BMW and Renault have also reduced their production.
Stellantis – which includes Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat, Vauxhall, and other base brands – predicts the shortage will last through 2022 after confirming it was forced to shut down at eight of its 44 global factories in the first quarter of the year year, producing 190,000 fewer cars than expected.
With a lack of chip shipments showing no signs of easing, some UK automakers have changed their summer shutdown times to deal with the situation.
This not only allows them to thoroughly clean factories, but also prepare new production lines for the arrival of the latest vehicles.
Industry executives said production had collapsed as manufacturers grappled with the global shortage of semiconductors and staff shortages due to the “pingdemie”.