Despite tackling the herculean task of surviving the halt in production during the pandemic, manufacturers are still dealing with the threefold challenge of the shortage of semi-conductors, the ‘pingdemic’ and Brexit.

Semiconductor shortage

If you have read our previous blog on semiconductors and what the shortage means for the car industry, you’ll already know a little about this. Semiconductors are tiny computer chips which are essential in the building of in-car entertainment platforms, driver assistance systems and much more in new cars.

During the pandemic when car manufacturing was forced to stop, the supply of these crucial chips was affected and what supplies were available were diverted into other industries. Unfortunately, when car production was able to start up again, the supply of semiconductors did not bounce back, meaning that production of vehicles was still limited. Before this supply chain crisis, it was expected that the UK would produce over 1.05 million cars this year. However, largely thanks to semiconductor shortages, around 100,000 less than this estimate will be made in 2021.

The effect of the ‘pingdemic’

The days of full lockdown and the vehicle plant closures this entailed are thankfully over. However, the sector is now having to cope with the effects of the recent ‘pingdemic’ when significant numbers of workers were advised to self-isolate by the NHS Covid-19 app and were therefore unable to attend work.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), barring last year’s halt in manufacturing, the number of cars produced in June was the lowest since 1953 at 69,097. While this is a result of a variety of factors, the lack of staff has been hugely significant, with some firms reporting between 5% – 30% of staff self-isolating.

While this issue is now being eased by changes to the app and the new rule stating that double vaccinated people needn’t self-isolate after being in close contact with a Covid case, it has come at a time when the last thing the industry needed was another Covid-related obstacle to getting back on its feet.


Brexit has also contributed to the struggles of the car manufacturing industry in recent months. The government has so far failed to devise a suitable replacement for the EU’s safety standards system. This may force manufacturers and their suppliers to trade elsewhere, because products will not come with the necessary safety guarantees.

This inability to prove that safety and environmental standards are met could hold up car production, again preventing the industry from recovering after the pandemic. Also,  there is an argument to say that this issue may cause EU companies to give up on the UK, as there is not a large enough market to bother with the extra costs involved in completing both UK and EU safety checks.

Innovation in manufacturing

Resilience is key when dealing with the many curveballs that are regularly thrown at the motor manufacturing sector.  Although Covid-19 and Brexit are undoubtedly two of the biggest challenges that the industry has ever faced, the UK car manufacturing industry is proving its mettle yet again by facing them with determination and ingenuity.

To find out more about Interflex’s NVH solutions for the automotive industry, please call us on 01949 861491 or email