While production numbers are up compared to May, the automotive industry in the UK is still very much battling the results of the surge of new corona cases and the ongoing worldwide semiconductor shortage. As new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show, last month has been the second-worst June since 1953 next to June 2020.
Only 69,097 cars have left the factories in the United Kingdom in the last month. Although this marks a year-on-year increase of 22.1 percent, the crisis in the automotive sector is far from over, as our infographic chronicling the development of the industry since the first lockdown in the UK shows. The first half of 2021 saw 498,923 units produced, a decline of 38.4 percent on the five-year, first-half average. This could be attributable to the recurring lockdowns in the United Kingdom. The SMMT cites two related possible reasons for the ongoing problems: More and more workers needing to self-isolate due to a rise in cases of the coronavirus' Delta variant and the corresponding "pingdemic", and the global chip shortage affecting every sector relying on semiconductors.
According to an independent forecast by Auto Analysis from July 2021, chip shortages alone could lead to a decline in production volume by 100,000 units. How self-isolating staff will impact the industry in the coming months, especially after the United Kingdom lifting restrictions on Freedom Day on July 19th, remains to be seen.