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Engine production fell by 27.5% in July compared to the same month in 2020, but the SMMT said the reduction was artificially heightened by comparison to last year when output was recovering.

Latest figures showed a total of 127,922 engines were made in UK factories last month and over the year-to-date, engine manufacturing has increased by 6.8% to 1,058,792 units.

However, this remains 31.6% lower than the five-year average.

The SMMT said the decline in production should be looked at in context with what was happening in July last year as the sector attempted to recover lost units due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is unsurprising that the number of engines produced so far this year remains below the five-year average with the global shortage of semiconductors continuing to impact the ability of manufacturers to produce vehicles, leading to a fall in demand for engines,” added Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

“Government must show its support for UK Automotive by introducing measures to support production during these Covid-related stoppages and boost industry competitiveness.”