Category Archives: Vehicle Manufacturing

UK new car market reports slower August as more buyers await new 67-plate

car manufacturing


  • New car registrations fall -6.4% in August to 76,433.
  • AFV demand surges 58.3% as more motorists switch on to alternative powertrains.
  • Year-to-date market holds steady, down -2.4%, with 1.64 million cars joining British roads in 2017.

SEE CAR REGISTRATIONS BY BRAND

The UK new car market reported its fifth consecutive month of decline in August, according to figures published today by SMMT. Registrations fell -6.4%, after a record August in 2016.

However, with more than 76,000 new cars registered, the performance still represents the third biggest August in 10 years.1 Year to date, the market remained broadly in line with expectations, down -2.4%, with 1,640,241 new cars joining British roads in the first eight months.

Superminis and small family cars remained the most popular types in August, accounting for more than half (58.3%) of registrations. However, SUVs, larger family cars and executives were the only segments to grow, up 7.9%, 2.2% and 1.1% respectively.

Meanwhile, more people chose to get behind the wheel of an alternatively fuelled vehicle (AFV) than ever before in the month, accounting for a 5.2% share of the market.2 Demand for petrol hybrid and pure electric battery powered cars increased substantially, up 74.9% and 62.5%, while plug-in hybrid registrations rose 38.5%. Conventional petrols grew 3.8% and diesels fell -21.3%.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

August is typically a quiet month for the new car market as consumers and businesses delay purchases until the arrival of the new number plate in September. With the new 67-plate now available and a range of new models in showrooms, we anticipate the continuation of what are historically high levels of demand.

Notes

  1. August 2016: 81,640; August 2015: 79,060; August 2007: 77,649
  2. The previous AFV record market share for August was 3.1% in 2016

Source: SMMT

 

SMMT Brexit Update

 

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The latest round of negotiations over the terms of Britain’s departure from the EU began in earnest this week. Europe’s leaders have been clear that sufficient headway must be made on exit terms before talks on future trade can begin, so UK business will hope for swift and sure progress.

To that end, it is pleasing to see both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor meeting with industry groups this week. Commentators are beginning to see business as increasingly influential in any future agreement – as well they should. Business operations are often determined by EU rules and many firms are also well versed in the minutiae of trading within the EU and without.

Yesterday Theresa May’s new business advisory group met for the first time to discuss concerns around the UK’s withdrawal. Meanwhile, Phillip Hammond, speaking to the CBI on Monday, noted that Brexit is just one in a series of issues facing Europe and the Eurozone and called on businesses to stress the need for agreement on key issues to their continental colleagues and partners.

The truth is that those operating within global and European supply chains see the necessity of a deal most clearly. Therein much of the trouble could lie – the flow of goods across Britain and Europe will need to be maintained while clarity over regulation and continued participation in existing EU trade deals with key international markets must be assured. Yet more reason automotive must be considered a priority sector throughout the Brexit process.

SMMT continues to reiterate its priorities for Brexit and to advise government on the complex rules and regulations with which the motor industry must comply. More information on the industry position is available on our website at www.smmt.co.uk/brexit.

Britain’s trade with Europe will not cease. It’s competitveness, however, will be threatened. UK companies’ expertise and quality products will continue to attract global customers but the cost of those products and services is harder to forecast.

Soure: Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive

Eight out of 10 cars shipped overseas in October as export growth drives UK production

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  • UK car manufacturing dips -1.0% in October to 151,795 units as domestic demand falls.
  • Exports rise for 15th consecutive month, with 122,765 cars built for overseas markets, up 1.7%.1
  • Industry remains strong, up 9.2% year-to-date with more than 1.4 million vehicles produced.

car-manufacturing-table-october-16

UK car manufacturing dipped -1.0% in October, ending a 14-month run of growth for the industry, according to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.2

151,795 vehicles were built in the month, with production for export growing taking an 80.9% share of volumes. 122,765 cars were shipped to overseas customers, an uplift of 1.7% on the same month last year, and offsetting a -10.9% decline in production for the home market. Despite the fall, domestic demand remains strong, with production in the year so far up 3.3% and at its highest level since 2005.3 Overall production levels, meanwhile, achieved a 17 year record of 1,444,248 – up 9.2%.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said

October’s figures underline the export-led nature of the industry, with eight out of 10 cars built for overseas customers. Despite model changes which have ended the consistent growth pattern of the past year or so, we are still on track for a record number of exports.

Given this dependence on global trade, it is crucial that British-built cars remain attractive to international buyers and exports are not subject to additional tariffs, costs and other barriers to successful trade. It is also essential government ensures there is economic stability and a competitive business environment to ensure we continue to attract the global investment that is behind this performance.

car-output_rolling-year-totals-october-2016

  1. UK car export volumes have risen in every month since July 2015
  2. UK car manufacturing last fell in July 2015
  3. October 2005, when 363,513 units were produced for the domestic market

Source: SMMT

 

UK car exports pass the million mark in 2016

car-manufacturing

 

  • UK car manufacturing volumes increase by 0.9% in September with 159,726 vehicles produced.
  • Overall output for first three quarters rises 10.5% as exports grow 12.2% to hit 1,000,642.
  • Overseas demand drives production, up 5.0% to 123,119 units, while home market falls -10.6%.

car-manufacturing-table-september-16

 

UK car manufacturing reported steady growth in September, with production rising by 0.9%, according to figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Exports rose 5.0% to reach 123,119 units, offsetting a -10.6% decline in production for the home market.

Overall year-to-date output increased 10.5% to 1,292,453 units, as production for global markets grew for a 14thconsecutive month. Export demand rose by 12.2% to take volumes past one million in the first three quarters for the first time on record.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

British-built cars are in demand across the world as demonstrated by the double digit growth in exports this year, resulting in more than a million cars produced for international markets. The vast majority of cars manufactured here in the UK are destined for abroad and future growth will depend on securing our international competitiveness and the barrier-free access to major global markets that has enabled UK Automotive to thrive.

 

Car output_rolling year totals June 2016

Source: SMMT

 

Continental Puts First 48-Volt Hybrid Drive into Production

  • From the end of 2016, diesel variants of the Renault Scénic and Grand Scénic models will be equipped with Continental’s 48-volt hybrid drive
  • 48-volt technology contributes to significant fuel consumption savings and reduced nitrogen oxide emissions at moderate costs
  • The efficient electric motor with integrated inverter is produced at the Continental plant in Nuremberg

VERSION E2 - JANTES SILVERSTONE 20 POUCES

Continental is electrifying one diesel variant of both the new Renault Scénic and Grand Scénic models. The system, offered as a “Hybrid Assist” uses a 48-volt hybrid drive in production vehicles for the first time. The technology is a particularly cost-efficient solution to significantly reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. Instead of the conventional starter generator, the system uses an electric motor with a continuous output of six kilowatts (10kW temporary), which drives the crankshaft of the engine via a belt. The electric motors with integrated inverter are supplied from the Continental plant in Nuremberg.

The worldwide first 48-volt hybrid drive from Continental in production at Renault Scenic Hybrid Assist. CO2 target: 92 grams / kilometerImage download

Since 2013, Continental engineers have been working together with Renault on a hybrid drive, which is so cost-efficient to produce that it becomes an appealing option for mid-size vehicles. To achieve this, the development partners have used low-voltage hybrid technology, which operates at 48 volts. This is in contrast with the considerably more expensive high-voltage technology, which operates at between 300 and 400 volts and is usually used in hybrid vehicles. However, the 48-volt system facilitates significant savings. Therefore, with the mild-hybrid system, Renault is aiming for combined fuel consumption of 3.5 liters of diesel per 100 km. They are also aiming to reduce the new Scénic´s CO2 emissions to 92 grams per kilometer, which is a new CO2 benchmark in this vehicle class. This is possible because the electric motor, operated as a generator, also converts a large proportion of the braking energy into electricity, which is temporarily stored in a small battery. This electricity can then be specifically used to relieve the internal combustion engine. This is also the reason why nitrogen oxide emissions and exhaust particles, especially in urban traffic, are reduced when a 48-volt drive is combined with a diesel engine.

“We are proud that we were able to secure Renault as the first customer for our innovative 48-volt drive,” said José Avila, Continental Executive Board Member responsible for the Powertrain Division. “Other production launches for both diesel and gasoline vehicles are in the pipeline for Europe and other markets including China and North America.” According to Continental, the market for 48-volt drives will experience significant growth in the coming years. As Rudolf Stark, Head of the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Business Unit, assumed, “in 2025, approximately one in five new vehicles across the world will be equipped with a 48-volt drive.”

Belt driven starter generator (48-volt electric drive) from ContinentalImage download

The 48-volt solution from Continental is relatively easy to combine with preexisting internal combustion engines, as it does not require any more room than a conventional starter generator. This is due to the high power to size ratio of the electric motor, which does not contain rare earth materials. This is achieved by water cooling of the stator and the high efficiency of the induction motor. To save space, the inverter, which is needed to convert direct current stored in the battery into alternating current required for operation, is integrated in the housing lid of the motor. The ready-to-install 48-volt drive is manufactured at the Continental plant in Nuremberg, which already specializes in complex electronic modules, such as those used for automatic transmissions.

In addition to designing the 48-volt drive for the crankshaft of the internal combustion engine in Renault vehicles, Continental is also working on other solutions. The electric motor can also be placed between the engine and transmission – allowing, for example, purely electric driving in inner city areas.

Source: Continental

UK car production hits 16-year high, as industry urges government to safeguard future

  • Double digit growth for UK car manufacturing in June as output rises 10.4% to 158,641 units.
  • Best half year performance since 2000, with 897,157 cars produced – up 13.0% on 2015.
  • Future growth uncertain, as SMMT survey highlights industry concerns over trade and investment after Brexit vote.

Car Manufacturing table June 16

UK car makers reported their 11th consecutive month of growth in June, according to figures released today by SMMT. Production grew 10.4% to 158,641 units – the highest level for the month since 1998, when volumes reached 172,232.

The performance closes the industry’s best first half for 16 years,1 with 897,157 cars rolling off production lines so far in 2016 – up 13% on the same period last year as billions of pounds of earlier investment in new models came to fruition. Exports drove volumes, with year-to-date demand up 14.9% to 695,139 units, while production for the domestic market also grew 7.1%.

UK Automotive is export-led, with 77.8% of cars built in the UK destined for more than 100 overseas markets, but the majority of which are headed for the rest of the EU. The sector is part of a complex, highly-integrated European and global supply chain, and depends on significant cross border trade in components. While local content of UK-built cars is growing, 59% of vehicle components are imported, predominantly from the continent.

That relationship with our biggest market is now uncertain and, as a survey of SMMT members just published shows, is of significant concern. 57.1% of respondents believe the outcome will have a negative impact on their business, while just 8.3% foresee it being positive. A further quarter (27.7%) are uncertain about the impact at this early stage.2

Respondents, including businesses of all sizes, from component suppliers to vehicle manufacturers and importers, are most concerned about the potential negative impact of tariffs, custom charges or other barriers between the UK and the EU single market (68.4%). They also expressed concern about losing access to EU trade deals (66.4%), being bound by regulations in their prime export market over which they have no say (66.1%) and loss of access to the EU-wide skills market (63.6%).

The UK automotive manufacturing sector has grown dramatically over the past few years and now employs 169,000 people, including many skilled EU nationals recruited to fill vacancies which the local labour force could not meet. The lack of certainty regarding the future status of these workers in the UK was cited frequently as a concern (59.7%) along with the potential for a drop in sales (52.7%) and investment (46.1%), with larger companies showing the most concern about the latter.

Mike Hawes, Chief Executive, SMMT, said, “UK Automotive is globally competitive with overseas demand for British made products increasing, not least in Europe which is by far our largest market. The latest increase in production output, however, is the result of investment decisions made over a number of years, well before the referendum was even a prospect. These decisions were based on many factors but, primarily, on tariff-free access to the single market, economic stability and record levels of productivity from a highly skilled workforce. To ensure the sector’s continued growth, and with it the thousands of jobs it supports, these must be priorities in future negotiations.”

Car output_rolling year totals June 2016Source: SMMT