The UK motor industry has a fine historical record and still is a very important part of the economy but nothing like it once was. What changed? Poor management. Militant unions. Government indifference. Ignorance and apathy from the locals. They all played their part. If it ever disappeared, few would notice or care.
Back in 1964, vehicle production peaked at over 2.3 million. Passenger cars were at their zenith in 1972 with in excess of 1.9 million made. In 2021, vehicle volume was down to 930,000 and cars 860,000. They were the lowest figures since 1953 and 1956 respectively.
Bringing things closer to today, the chart below covers the last ten years for cars only. In 2013, 764,000 were made in the first six months of the year. It was on a roll as each year the numbers grew to 2017 and 892,000. Since then, it fell to a low of 380,000 in 2020. The next two years a slight improvement but nothing startling.
The curious thing is for the period below there haven't been factory closures apart from Honda in July 2021. All major manufacturers have reduced units assembled. Some smaller volume manufacturers are doing well but they don't affect the total to any great degree.
May and June of 2022 have not been bad so we will see how the rest of the year pans out. Nissan accounted for 29% of production so far and Toyota 14%. I don't have data for the rest.
Data source: SMMT.