The number of cars produced in the UK fell by 20 per cent in January as parts supply issues continue to impact the number of new models that can be built. 

According to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), just 68,790 cars left factories in January, representing a drop of 20.1 per cent and making it the worst January since 2009. 

Out of these, 83.2 per cent of models were exported abroad, meaning 57,246 headed overseas with 11,544 destined for British buyers. 

However, despite the drop, the number of electric cars built in Britain is on the rise, with 6,326 EVs being manufactured in January, a 37.6 per cent increase on 2021’s figures. It means one in 11 new cars made in the UK is now a zero-emissions model. 

This will include popular vehicles like the Mini Electric and Nissan Leaf, which are produced in Oxford and Sunderland respectively, though the full breakdown of individual cars isn’t given.

When hybrid vehicles are included, electrified vehicles accounted for 27.4 per cent of all cars built in the UK in January – including hybrid versions of Jaguar and Land Rover models, as well as the Toyota Corolla

The SMMT has said the ‘most significant cause’ for production shortfall was due to the ongoing shortage of semiconductors, which enable a range of electronic features in cars. 

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “It’s another torrid start to the year as global supply issues and structural changes squeeze output while model changes impact production scheduling. 

“The UK automotive manufacturing industry is, however, fundamentally strong and recent investment announcements are testament to the potential for growth, not least in terms of rising EV production.”