According to the figures released by the society of motor manufacturers and traders (SMMT), British car manufacturers made more cars in 2015 than any other year since 2005. The production increased by 3.9% on 2014 bringing the total number of cars produced to 1,587,677.
British manufacturers also posted a record number of exports in 2015; a total of 1,227,881 or 77.3% vehicles left the home soil, and this was up 2.7% on the results posted in 2015.
Overseas markets in the Far East, such as China and Russia, were dealt a blow where demand fell by 37.5% and 69.4% largely due to slower growth and Russia’s recession which economists say will continue at least through to the end of 2016. However, considerable growth was seen in Australia, South Korea, Turkey and Japan with volumes up 53.7%, 55.2%, 41.1% and 35.4%.
However, there was good news closer to home as Europe (UK’s biggest trading partner) boosted demand for UK’s built cars by 11.3%. Europe now accounts for 57.5% of all UK car exports. Consumer and business sector in the UK also fuelled demand for British-made cars. One out of every seven new cars registered in the UK in 2015 was made in Britain; this was up 8.1% on 2014.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "Despite export challenges in some key markets such as Russia and China, foreign demand for British-built cars has been strong, reaching record export levels in the past year.
"Europe is our biggest trading partner and the UK's membership of the European Union is vital for the automotive sector in order to secure future growth and jobs."
|Manufacturer||Model Range||Location||2015||2014||% Change|
|Jaguar Land Rover||F - Type, XE, XF, XJ, XK, Evoque, Range Rover Sport|
Defender, Discovery, Discovery Sport, Range Rover
|Castle Bromwich/ Halewood/ Solihull||489,923||449,507||9.0%|
|Nissan||Juke, LEAF, Note, Qashqai, Infiniti Q30||Sunderland||476,589||500,238||-4.7%|
|Honda||Civic, CR-V, Jazz||Swindon||119,414||121,799||-2.0%|
Manufacturing of cars in the UK – by brand - Figures from SMMT
According to the SMMT, “The automotive industry is a vital part of the UK economy accounting for more than £69.5 billion turnover and £15.5 billion value added. With some 160,000 people employed directly in manufacturing and in excess of 799,000 acrossthe wider automotive industry, it accounts for 11.8% of total UK export of goods and invests £2.4 billion each year in automotive R&D. More than 30 manufacturers build in excess of 70 models of vehicle in the UK supported by around 2,500 component providers and some of the world's most skilled engineers.”
The Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne said, “Backing Britain’s car industry has been a priority for this government and today we see the industry going from strength to strength.
“I am hugely encouraged that manufacturing is at a 10-year high and exports are at a record level. All this means jobs and the security of a pay packet for workers and their families.
“Our plans to rebalance the economy mean we have to continue to build on our great manufacturing strengths in the Midlands and the North of England, and work together to ensure that Britain continues to prosper as a global leader in car production.”