Data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed that car production in the UK rose 6% in the first quarter of 2023 to 219,887 units.

The increase has been driven by ease in the supply of semiconductors and other components across the world, thereby enabling factories to manufacture 12,540 additional units compared to the same period last year.

SMMT data also revealed that March rounded off the period with volumes rising by 6.1% to 81,605, exports facilitated growth rising 10.4% to 61,546 units.

This also reduced a -5.1% decrease in car production across the country since 20,059 cars were produced for the local market.

With 63.6%, the European Union (EU) had the biggest share of exported cars amid 4.9% increase in shipments. EU’s next biggest markets, including the US and China saw -4.1% and -8.3% decline, respectively.

Besides, export of cars from the UK to Turkey, Japan, Australia, and South Korea surged.

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Last month, Canada, Mexico and Israel became the top ten markets for UK car exports, with exports to Canada declining by 111 units.

According to SMMT, car makers in the UK continued to produce the latest hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles, increasing the production of combined volumes of these models to 75% in March to 32,546 units.

It was also found that four in ten cars manufactured in the month were equipped with ultra-low or zero emission powertrain technology.

This trend is expected to continue as over 20 electric cars, vans, buses, trucks and taxi models are anticipated to be made in the UK by 2025.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “A second consecutive month of growth for UK car production gives cause for optimism, though volumes are still well below pre-pandemic levels.

“If British car manufacturing is to get back towards those levels, with all the economic benefits that brings, we need to match the best in global competitiveness.

“That means driving down the high cost of UK energy, reforming business rates and vigorously promoting Britain globally to secure the investments essential to a zero carbon automotive future.”