UK car manufacturing falls as factories retool for EVs

jaguar xf production uk car body side
jaguar xf production uk car body side

Of the 61,820 vehicles built in the UK during April, 47,499 were shipped abroad

UK vehicle manufacturing dipped in April as companies began to retool their production lines for upcoming electric cars, according to figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

With total production output falling by 7% compared with March, this was the second consecutive monthly decline in 2024, although the year-on-year drop was a more modest 0.8%. A total of 61,820 vehicles were built in April, 80% of which were for export.

It was those bound for foreign markets that chiefly caused the decline, with a 12.7% month-on-month fall to 47,499 vehicles.


These figures illustrate that the UK government must provide "the right conditions" for a competitive manufacturing market, as well as investment to aid the transition to EVs, said the SMMT.

Securing free trade deals, lowering energy prices and supporting the UK’s EV market should be top priorities, it added.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Another month of falling UK car production was expected, given the significant transformation under way within factories as manufacturers retool to produce new models. Keeping this progress on track is essential and requires favourable industrial and market conditions.

"With a general election in a matter of weeks, the next government must ensure the conditions are right not just for the competitiveness of UK manufacturing, but for the investment required to transition the sector to a net-zero future.”

The refitting of factories was also blamed for only a nominal 0.1% year-on-year rise in EV volumes, with 25,031 produced so far this year.

Mainland Europe remained the UK’s biggest buyer, with 55.8% of exports bound for the continent. The US was the next biggest (15.2%), followed by China (5.4%), Turkey (4.2%) and Australia (2.8%).