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UK car output falls nearly 12% in May on EV transition, says industry body

Carmaker Stellantis makes investment announcement at British Vauxhall car factory

(Reuters) - Britain's car output fell by 11.9% year-on-year in May, falling for a third straight month, as manufacturers wound down existing models and more plants transitioned to electric vehicle (EV) production, industry data showed on Thursday.

A total of 69,652 cars rolled off production lines in May, compared with 79,046 in the same period last year, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said. April production volumes were down by 7%.

Electrified vehicles, including fully electric models, plug-in hybrids and full hybrids, represented almost two-fifths, or 38%, of all output, up by 3 percentages points compared with May 2023.

Manufacturers produced a combined 26,475 units of EVs in May.

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Production of EVs has successively grown as giants like Nissan and Jaguar Land Rover-owner Tata Motors have poured in billions in the UK to ramp up EV plans as the country attempts to reach net zero by 2050.

Ahead of the UK general elections on July 4, the SMMT had set out priorities in the sector for the next government, including backing British manufacturing and attracting green investment through an industrial strategy that guarantees affordable and sustainable energy, and new skills.

(Reporting by Echha Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)