The ‘pingdemic’, a global microchip shortage and summer factory shutdowns all affected production last month.
Car production “plummeted” last month amid ongoing staff shortages because of the “pingdemic” and the global shortage of microchips, research shows.
Just under 53,500 cars were built in July, a fall of 37.6% on the same month last year, and the worst July performance since 1956, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Summer shutdowns of factories also affected production, which was down by 38% for the UK to 8,233 while manufacturing for export fell by 37.4% to 45,205.
One in five cars made in July were alternatively fuelled, their highest share on record, said the SMMT.
More than a quarter of all cars made in July were either battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or hybrid electric (HEV), their highest share on record.
Exports accounted for more than eight out of 10 vehicles built last month.
Car production remains up 18.3% on Covid-hit 2020 at 552,361 units, but is down by 28.7% on 2019 pre-pandemic levels, said the SMMT, adding that production had plummeted last month.
Chief executive Mike Hawes said: “These figures lay bare the extremely tough conditions UK car manufacturers continue to face.
“While the impact of the ‘pingdemic’ will lessen as self-isolation rules change, the worldwide shortage of semiconductors shows little sign of abating.
“The UK automotive industry is doing what it can to keep production lines going, testament to the adaptability of its workforce and manufacturing processes, but Government can help by continuing the supportive Covid measures currently in place and boosting our competitiveness with a reduction in energy levies and business rates for a sector that is strategically important in delivering net zero.”