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Car production in the UK is projected to reach 1mn units in 2021. But effects of COVID-19, recovery rate, and market confidence would be key factors impacting auto production, says Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).


In 2020, car production fell by 29.3pc to 920,928 units from the prior year, the lowest since 1984, notes SMMT. In December, output was 71,403 units, a decline of 2.3pc over last year. The auto body believes it was a rather dreadful year for UK car manufacturers. Lockdowns, social-distancing, Brexit uncertainty weighed down manufacturing operations in the UK. 


Production for the home country dipped 30.4pc to 171,890 units in 2020. In December, production for the UK grew by 51.3pc to 16,785 units. Production for export markets fell in the month by 11.9pc to 54,618 units. In 2020, output for exports dipped by 29.1pc to 749,038 units.

Exports to the US, Australia, and Japan fell amid tough market conditions during the pandemic. Exports to the US fell 33.7pc, Japan 21.6pc, and to Australia by 21.8pc from the prior year. China’s demand for UK-manufactured cars increased 2pc, South Korea’s rose by 3.6pc and in Taiwan by 16.7pc from the prior year. 


Production in 2020

Production at Jaguar Land Rover fell by 36pc to 243,908 units in 2020 from the previous year. Nissan’s production dipped 29.1pc to 245,649 units. MINI production declined by 20.8pc to 175,736 units in 2020 from the previous year. Toyota’s output was reported at 116,261 units, down 21.5pc. Honda reported a dip of 36.3pc to 69,366 units in 2020, from 2019. 

SMMT states that the auto industry looks at 2021 with optimism due to the vaccine rollout. It also seeks more clarity on how trades with the EU would be carried out since the Union is UK’s largest market.

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