UK car manufacturing to hit record high by 2015

Published: 12 June 2012

Britain is on track to hit a new all-time car manufacturing high by the end of 2015. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders forecasts that car production is set to top 2 million a year in three years' time.

That's enough to eclipse the 1.92m record set forty years ago in 1972.

What's causing the increase in UK car manufacturing?

It's the culmination of a steady drip feed of good news for UK plc. The SMMT trade body says multi-billion investments by global car makers in the UK will create thousands of new jobs and bring new, incremental model lines to British factories.

A total of £5.5bn has been invested in the UK's automotive sector in the past 18 months. Consider all the announcements, such as the decision to put the new 2015 Astra into Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant, and you begin to see the national benefit.

The new 2m+ forecast was made at the 2012 International Automotive Summit and is contingent on eurozone stability, the SMMT admits.

It's a punchy forecast; in 2011, UK car manufacturing stood at 1.3m units, but so far this year production is already up 12% year-on-year.

Eighty percent of cars are exported - 40% of them to countries outside Europe.

The SMMT chief speaks

'The UK automotive industry is leading economic recovery with increased manufacturing output, growing export volumes and new jobs being created on the back of major international investment in the sector,' said Paul Everitt, the SMMT’s chief executive. 'Our engineering expertise, workforce flexibility and renowned motoring heritage, combined with top level collaboration between industry and government, makes the UK an important location for the global automotive industry.'

'The UK has attracted unprecedented levels of new investment and has a tremendous opportunity to see vehicle manufacturing rise to record levels in the years ahead. To remain globally competitive it is essential that industry and government continue to work in partnership and that key eurozone markets return to sustainable levels of economic growth.'

Britain's automotive sector generates around £50bn in turnover each year, and is the largest sector for exports with some £30bn of overseas revenue. It employs more than 700,000 people in manufacturing, retail and aftermarket.

 

 

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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