Industry reaction - UK car manufacturing hits six-year high


- Car production rose 3.1% in 2013 to surpass 1.5 million units – the highest volume since 2007.

- Industry analysts predict output to reach record levels of around two million units by 2017.

- UK could become the third largest car manufacturer in Europe.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: "2013 demonstrated the value of the UK’s diverse car manufacturing industry, as surging home demand and robust exports outside Europe saw output grow 3.1% to over 1.5 million units. UK automotive investment announcements exceeded £2.5 billion in 2013, reinforcing industry analysts’ suggestions that the UK could break all-time car output records within the next four years."

Charles Addison, Made in the Midlands Director added: "We've already said that 2013 saw a true renaissance for manufacturing and this is conclusive proof. As we look towards the future, however, with potential record-breaking years ahead we must all ensure that we have the people with the skills in place so that we can continue to grow."

Rachel Eade, Automotive Sector Lead for the Manufacturing Advisory Service continued: “Today’s figures cap a fantastic 2013 for the UK automotive industry, with massive investment from the car makers, record car sales from our best brands and news of a new £92 National Automotive Innovation Campus being built.

All of this has created a groundswell of positivity around the sector and this is undoubtedly flowing down into tiers 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on.

The hundreds of suppliers we work with on the ground are reporting significant increases in demand and having to invest quickly in tooling, recruitment and capital equipment to really take advantage of these opportunities.

This is something MAS is helping the supply chain to cope with. We can work with management teams on developing strategy, improving workflow and processes and also in linking them to new technology hubs to make the most of new advancements in automotive manufacturing.

The big OEMs will take most of the headlines, but we shouldn’t take for granted the role the supply chain has played in making the UK an attractive location for making cars again.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable concluded: "Today's figures are another sign that the British car industry is going from strength to strength – with one vehicle rolling off a production line somewhere in the UK every 20 seconds.

"Our success lies in the appetite from countries around the world for British cars. Around 80% of the 1.5 million cars we produced last year were exported – a testament to the diverse, high quality of British manufacturing.

"It also highlights the benefits of industry and government working together and we want to continue this partnership through a long-term strategy. This will give businesses the confidence to invest, speed up development on vehicles of the future and keep the UK as a world leader in cars.Our investment of £1bn jointly with industry will help do this, while also delivering jobs and driving growth."

SMMT is one of the largest and most influential trade associations in the UK. It supports the interests of the UK automotive industry at home and abroad, promoting a united position to government, stakeholders and the media. 

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