‘No quick fixes’: UK car manufacturing industry could be left behind after Brexit & Covid

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Engine production in the UK fell by -34.6 percent in October, a fifth consecutive month of declines, a trend which some industry experts say, “shows no sign of easing”. Compared with the year to date in 2020, the manufacturing of engines in the UK has seen a decrease of almost seven percent.

In October, production for both domestic and export markets fell by -35.4 percent and -34.1 percent respectively.

A worldwide shortage of semiconductors has brought the automotive industry to its knees as the chips are a crucial component in both engines and finished vehicles.

There are fears that these shortages could last well into 2022 and even 2023.

Despite massive investment from the likes of Nissan and Stellantis into manufacturing vehicles in the UK, without the semiconductors, there are fears it could harm British manufacturing in the long term.

Paul Mauerhoff, senior media manager at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), explained how the semiconductor shortage could have an effect on the UK market.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “There’s been a real squeeze on supply of semiconductors and that is still ongoing.

“There’s no quick fixes. You can’t suddenly open a factory and start producing these hence why we think it could last a long time.

“It’s such an important part of a modern car, and until that squeeze on supply is eased, but we still think there’s a strong demand for cars.”

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Around 180,000 people are directly employed in automotive manufacturing in the UK, with a further 680,000 in the wider automotive sector.

Collectively, the motor industry directly contributes £15billion in gross added value for the UK economy.

The SMMT also believes more needs to be done to ensure the UK remains a strong influence in the automotive world.

Paul continued, saying: “I think it’s all about making sure the UK stays competitive for manufacturing.

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