UK Automotive Sector Reaches Historic High

30th June 2015

The UK automotive industry is going from strength to strength according to latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The figures confirm that the sector is breaking records in sales with a turnover of £69.5 billion for 2014. And it's not only car sales that grew, manufacturing output, jobs and export values also grew making the industry one of the strongest in the world.

Last year saw car production grow to 1.53 million units the highest since 2007, and it looks set to continue with UK car output expected to reach an all-time record level of 1.95 million vehicles in the next two years. Investment in more efficient, high-tech manufacturing processes has saw huge gains in productivity with 11.5 vehicles produced for every person employed in the industry. International demand for British vehicles continued to increase with the total export value rising by 1.8% to £34.6 billion, a staggering 108.8% increase since 2000. The contribution made to the British economy by the industry has risen by 6.2% to £15.5 billion last year.

The 100% electric Nissan Leaf and the all new Jaguar XE were built in the UK

The industry has also seen their environmental impact decline despite the surge in production. Water and energy use fell to 10.7% and 10.4%, while CO2 emissions per vehicle was reduced by 5% compared with 2013.

Employment in the automotive sector has also grown with 27,000 new jobs created in 2014 an increase of 3.5% from the previous year. The total number of people now employed in the sector is now a very impressive 799,000 with the average worker generating a staggering £440,000 in turnover for the sector. Employee training has also increase by more than a third and 500 new apprentices and trainees were taken on by the industry in 2014.

Speaking of the latest results Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “ The UK automotive industry can be proud of its achievements as it continues to set new standards. The sector is delivering growth in volumes, turnover and employment, while reducing its environmental impact. Continuing to expand in a fiercely competitive global market is a major challenge and will depend on a supportive economic and regulatory environment which promotes investment to foster innovation and continuing productivity improvements."

By Jenna Niblock