LONDON (Reuters) – British automotive production more than halved in May compared with the same month in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic, as a global shortage of semi-conductors and other components continued to weigh on car plants.
The output of 54,962 cars was down 52.6% from May 2019 although it was 10 times the figure for May 2020 when Britain was in the grip of a first coronavirus lockdown, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said the recovery of production faced a massive challenge in Britain and beyond because of the supply shortages.
“If the UK is to remain competitive, therefore, it must ensure it has a globally attractive policy framework for both vehicle production and the supply chain,” he said.
Speeding up zero-emission car production had to be part of Britain’s strategy, he said.
(Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by Andy Bruce)