UK car production hits 65-year low as chip shortages pile pressure on COVID-battered sector

UK car production hits 65-year low as chip shortages pile pressure on COVID-battered sector

1/27/2022 6:06:00 AM

UK car production hits 65-year low as chip shortages pile pressure on COVID-battered sector

Fewer than 900,000 vehicles rolled off production lines in 2021, the lowest level since 1956, as factories slowed down or stopped work while scrambling to obtain scarce semiconductors.

The chip shortage will continue to make life"tough" in the first half of 2022 but should then ease, Mr Hawes added.A lack of chips, thanks to pandemic-related shutdowns in the Far East, meant factories had to slow down or even stop production.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player0:43Ford boss: Chip shortage a 'huge issue'The chips form a critical part of modern car making, with each vehicle typically having 1,500 to 3,000 - but there was also disruption to the import of other components.

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Tesla profits surge to $5.5bn but electric car maker sees supply chain woes persisting The chip shortage will continue to make life"tough" in the first half of 2022 but should then ease, Mr Hawes added. A lack of chips, thanks to pandemic-related shutdowns in the Far East, meant factories had to slow down or even stop production. Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player 0:43 Ford boss: Chip shortage a 'huge issue' The chips form a critical part of modern car making, with each vehicle typically having 1,500 to 3,000 - but there was also disruption to the import of other components. Staff shortages due to COVID-19 self-isolation and showroom closures during lockdowns took their toll too, as did the permanent shutdown of the Honda car plant in Swindon during the summer, which accounted for about a quarter of the annual decline. The semiconductor shortage is thought to have knocked 100,000 off total volumes and early estimates suggest it could mean a smaller but still significant 50,000 hit for this year. Car manufacturing numbers are however expected to see a recovery overall and hit over a million units in 2022. But it is a far cry from the 1.5 million plus total seen in 2017, a high water mark for the industry in recent years - and a number that the SMMT admitted was unlikely to be reached again any time soon unless a major new factory opens or existing plants bump up production. Its own forecasts suggest a 1.1 million vehicles being made in the UK by 2025. Mr Hawes said it was"not all doom and gloom" with investment announcements - including at