The automotive industry in the United Kingdom is one that most people don’t know much about, but they are a dynamic, expanding industry that is currently setting their sights on breaking some manufacturing records in the next three years. Combined with multi-billion pound investments of £5.5 billion over the last eighteen months, the future will see thousands more jobs created, new models introduced, and overall production expanded. More cars being built will not only lead to more jobs in the automotive industry, but also in the industry that services cars – manufacturers of car tyres, garages for servicing cars and showrooms where the cars are sold.
The previous record for number of cars produced was set in 1972 with 1.92 million cars driving out of the UK’s factories. With annual volumes gradually increasing over the past few years they are set to hit the two million mark in 2015. In 2011 the levels were at 1.3 million, so this equates to an increase in production of over 50%. Considering the economic downturn we have been experiencing over the last few years, it is even more exciting to see a United Kingdom industry helping to lead the economic recovery.
The UK has a longstanding motoring heritage, a wealth of expertise in engineering and a flexible, skilled workforce, which combines with some major international investment to make the UK a desirable location for the global automotive industry to set up their factories. Many people aren’t even aware that there are seven volume car manufacturers, three volume commercial vehicle manufacturers, eleven manufacturers of buses and coaches, over 25 niche and specialist vehicle manufacturers and a massive eight Formula One teams along with a large concentration of motorsport firms in an area known as Motorsport Valley. Despite all this, the majority of people probably think that all vehicles are built abroad.
Some more facts you may not be aware of are:
- The manufacturing sector employs 145,000 people.
- As a whole, the automotive industry in the UK employs more than 700,000 people in manufacturing, retail and aftermarket sectors including a range of showrooms, garages and car tyre retailers.
- An average of 1.5 million cars and commercial vehicles are produced annually, and over 2.5 million engines. 80% of the vehicles, and 70% of the engines are then exported.
- These exports make the UK automotive industry the largest export sector with 11% of total UK exports, generating about £30 billion annual revenue.
- It is an environmentally friendly industry! They are investing in research and development as well as new technologies to create cleaner, safer, more fuel efficient cars with low carbon footprints.