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Automotive News – Late March 2024

Estimated reading time 4 minutes

Six consecutive months of growth for UK car production.

•         UK car production rises 14.6% in best February performance since 2021.

•         Manufacturing for domestic market surges, up 58.0%, while exports rise 4.6%.

•         Electrified vehicles represent more than a third of output with 29,038 made in the month.

UK car production rose again in February, up 14.6% to 79,907 units, according to the latest figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). It was the sixth consecutive month of growth and best February performance since 2021, with nearly all volume manufacturers posting uplifts, driven by output for the domestic market which grew 58.0% to 20,658 units, an increase of 7,585.

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UK commercial vehicle production boasts best February since 2008.

•         CV production up 98.4% to 12,927 units in fifth consecutive month of growth.

•         Export volumes soar by 188.0% while manufacturing for the UK declines marginally, by -4.0%.

•         Year to date output rises 56.4% with exports up 104.5% to 17,976 units.

UK commercial vehicle (CV) production almost doubled in February, with 12,927 vans, trucks, taxis, buses and coaches leaving factory lines, according to figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The 98.4% uplift in volume was the best February performance since 2008 and follows a particularly weak February last year as supply chain issues, notably semiconductor shortages, impacted manufacturing output.

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Jaguar Land Rover has created 250 West Midlands jobs as it looks to develop its electric technology.

New electrification engineers will be based at the Gaydon Engineering Centre and the company’s £250m Future Energy Lab in Whitley, Coventry. £40m of technological innovations to test electric vehicles are hosted at the 323,000 sq. ft lab, with drive units being created for JLR’s electric Range Rover, Defender, Discovery and Jaguar models.

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Crewe-based Bentley Motors today (March 19) revealed its financial performance for 2023 that was heavily influenced by record levels of interest in luxury personalisation.

Operating profits reached €589m as three-quarters of customers explored the 46 billion different configurations available from the options range to add bespoke content from Bentley’s Mulliner division, representing a 43% rise over 2022.

The luxury marque posted a revenue of €2.938bn as customers were also increasingly attracted to higher revenue models such as Azure, S and Speed, the mix of which reached 70%, up from 30% in 2022.

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Renault Group and Volvo Group have obtained the required regulatory approvals to officially launch the new company Flexis SAS for the next generation of fully electric vans based on a software defined vehicle (SDV) platform and its dedicated services.

The new company will address the growing needs of decarbonised and efficient urban logistics and will be based in France.

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A £1.2bn gigafactory is being planned next to Coventry Airport which would significantly expand the UK’s electric car industry.

Reports in the Sunday Times suggest that Chinese battery maker EVE Energy is plotting to become a major player in the new Centre of Electrification on the outskirts of Coventry in a move which could create up to 6,000 jobs.

The initial £1.2bn will establish the gigafactory, with further tranches of money seeing it grow to twice the size of Nissan’s battery site in Sunderland.

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Aston Martin has named its third chief executive in four years with the appointment of the departing Bentley Motors CEO.

Adrian Hallmark will take the helm of Aston Martin no later than October 1 from his recent position as chairman and CEO, a role he has fulfilled since 2018. He takes over from former Ferrari boss Amedeo Felisa, who has been CEO since May 2022 after the departure of Tobias Moers, who had also been in post for just under two years

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