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UK car production collapses due to microchip shortage and ‘pingdemic’

UK car production collapses as microchip shortage and ‘pingdemic’ leads to worst July in 65 years


Car production collapsed last month as the global shortage of microchips and the ‘pingdemic’ resulted in the worst July in 65 years.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said 53,438 cars rolled off British production lines – down 37.6 per cent on a year earlier and the weakest July since 1956.

The report blamed ‘the global shortage of semiconductors and staff absence resulting from the pingdemic, with some altering summer shutdown timings to help manage the situation’.

Slowdown: The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said 53,438 cars rolled off British production lines – down 37.6 per cent on a year earlier and the weakest July since 1956

More than a quarter, or 26 per cent, of all cars made in July were hybrid or electric.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: ‘These figures lay bare the extremely tough conditions UK car manufacturers continue to face. 

‘While the impact of the pingdemic will lessen as self-isolation rules change, the worldwide shortage of semiconductors shows little sign of abating.

‘The UK automotive industry is doing what it can to keep production lines going, testament to the adaptability of its workforce and manufacturing processes.

‘But Government can help by continuing the supportive Covid measures currently in place and boosting our competitiveness with a reduction in energy levies and business rates for a sector that is strategically important in delivering net zero.’

Toyota has announced plans to cut vehicle production worldwide by 40 per cent in September because of the global microchip shortage. 

General Motors, Ford, Nissan, Daimler, BMW and Renault are among those to also have scaled back production.

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