UK car production increased by 14.6% in February 2024, marking the best performance for the month since 2021, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).  

During the month, 79,907 units were produced, representing the sixth consecutive month of expansion, with the majority of volume manufacturers reporting increases. 

The domestic market was a major growth driver, with production for UK buyers surging by 58% to 20,658 units, an uplift of 7,585 vehicles.  

Exports also grew, albeit at a slower pace of 4.6%, amounting to 59,249 units.  

Notably, 74.1% of the cars manufactured in February were destined for international markets. 

The European Union remained the largest export destination, receiving 59.9% of the UK’s car exports.  

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The US followed with 14.8%, while China, Australia, and Turkey took 7.1%, 3.3%, and 2.3%, respectively.  

Exports to all these markets, except for Turkey, which saw a 20.3% decline, experienced growth, with the US leading the way with a substantial 95.6% increase. 

Electrified vehicle production, encompassing battery electric, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid models, continued to represent a significant portion of the output, accounting for over a third (36.3%) of all cars produced in February.  

A total of 29,038 electrified vehicles were manufactured, marking a 6% increase from the previous year.  

Nearly two-thirds (67.3%) of these vehicles being built for export. 

As of 2024, the UK’s car production has risen by 17.8% to 162,904 units, indicating the strongest start to a year since 2021.  

However, the sector may face variability in production volumes in the coming months, as major manufacturers have announced the cessation of some long-standing models to transition to new electric variants. 

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Another month of growth for UK car production is welcome news, reflecting strong demand at home and around the world for the latest British-built cars. The industry is transitioning from internal combustion engine cars to electrified vehicles, building on the massive investment commitments made last year.  

“The UK industry faces stiff competition, however, as global competitors seek to secure new models and technologies so a commitment to our industrial competitiveness, from all political parties in this likely election year, must be maintained.” 

Earlier this month, the SMMT reported a 14% increase in new car registrations, totalling 84,886 units, in February.