The number of cars built in the UK fell by 27% last month, the worst January figure for over a decade, new figures reveal.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said just over 86,000 cars were built, a fall of 32,262 compared with January last year.
It was the 17th consecutive month of decline, amid the ongoing effects of the coronavirus crisis, global supply chain issues, extended factory shutdowns and friction in the new trading arrangements following the end of the Brexit transition period, said the trade group.
While exports still accounted for more than eight in 10 of all cars made last month, shipments to major markets the EU, US and Asia all fell by double digits, said the report.
The research also found that growth in UK production of battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid vehicles (HEV) continued from last year, with combined output of these vehicles rising 18.9% in January to 21,792 units.
More than one in four of all cars leaving factories was alternatively fuelled.
The cost of lost car production has increased to over £11 billion since a year ago, said the SMMT.
Chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Yet another month of decline for UK car production is a grave concern and next week’s Budget is the Chancellor’s opportunity to boost the industry by introducing measures that will support competitiveness, jobs and livelihoods.
“Whilst there have been some very welcome recent announcements, we need to secure our medium to long-term future by creating the conditions that will attract battery gigafactory investment and transform the supply chain.
“Most immediately, however, we must get our Covid-secure car showrooms back open, ideally before April 12. This will be the fastest way to UK automotive manufacturing recovery.”