Nissan tops UK car production league again in 2023 

January 25, 2024 by

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UK car production was finally on the rise again in 2023 after two years of issues caused by the pandemic and international conflicts.

  • UK car production rose to 905,117 in 2023, up 16.8% on 2022
  • Best percentage growth (+16.8%) in UK car production since 2010
  • Nissan topped UK car production league again with 324,893 vehicles
  • UK production of electrified vehicles increased 48% in 2023

Almost a million cars (905,117) were built in the UK last year, up 16.8% on 2022, with Nissan topping the table ahead of Jaguar Land Rover and Mini.

Almost three-quarters of the cars built in the UK were exported, with the Nissan Qashqai, Mini and Toyota Corolla being the top three models sent overseas from the UK.

Impressively, this increase in UK car production is the best percentage growth (+16.8 percent) in 13 years, and takes UK car production back to similar levels to 2021, but still below pre-pandemic levels, according to the latest manufacturing data just issued by the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders).

Nissan topped the UK car production charts with 324,893 vehicles leaving its Sunderland plant in 2023 (an increase of over 36%), with Jaguar Land Rover in second place with 238,422 vehicles, followed by MINI (184,996), Toyota (122,193), Bentley (12,859) and others (21,754).

Production of electrified vehicles (including PHEV and HEV models) also saw a significant increase in 2023 jumping 48% to 346,451 vehicles, representing almost 38% of total UK vehicle production.

Looking ahead to this year, Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive said: “With the imminent threat of UK-EU rules of origin tariffs overcome, the latest independent outlook foresees UK car and light van output rising by around 3% in 2024 to 1.04 million units with the potential to exceed 1.2 million units by the end of the decade.”

“To achieve this, the UK must ensure it remains competitive, and so the forthcoming Budget is an opportunity for government to introduce measures that will boost the sector,” Hawes continued. “These should include extending Climate Change Agreements so electric vehicle battery-manufacturing and its associated supply chain are eligible for relief; making green energy widely available and affordable; delivering on commitments to improve grid connections; and taking action to close critical labour and skills gaps.”

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