According to the figures from a study by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) into the UK’s automotive production industry, 2014 saw an all-time record high in turnover. Here, we take a closer look at what some of these record-breaking figures are and why the UK has experienced such a positive step forward. Also we’ll consider what the future could bring for the industry and drivers alike.
The key stats released in the report itself included:
- Turnover ‘hitting an all-time high of £69.5 billion’
- Vehicle production being the ‘highest since 2008, with industry on track to produce a record 1.95 million vehicles in the next two years’
- Across ‘each of the five years to 2014, an average of 11.5 vehicles were produced for every person employed in the industry’
- That ‘international demand for British-made vehicles also continues to increase with total export value rising 1.8% to £34.6 billion – a staggering 103.8% uplift since 2000’
The Reasons for the Boom
While this is unquestionably positive for British industry, and indeed the workers involved in the production of vehicles, what has caused this to happen?
Firstly, as aforementioned, there’s the huge rise in international demand for British-made cars, engines and automotive components, as well as a rise in the demand for new cars here in the UK. Also, there’s the improvements in the effectiveness of industry facilities as this article from the Independent into the SMMT study details as ‘more efficient, high-tech manufacturing processes’ leading to ‘huge gains in productivity’.
A similar article into the study from Motoring Research, suggests another reason for the boom is because the work force is strong and dedicated. This is because of stats including how ‘staff turnover fell from 10% in 2000 to 5.6% in 2014’ and ‘Lost time incidents per 1,000 employees fell by nearly 29% in 2014 alone – a record low’.
Furthermore this article details how the UK automotive industry is one of the greenest in the world. It claims that production ‘used 10.4% less energy in 2014, 10.7% less water and sent a staggering 26.3% less waste to landfill. This alone is down over 90% compared to 2002’.
What this Might Mean for the Future
In the immediate future it’s safe to assume that we’ll be seeing more British-made cars on our roads, with the increased supply. Beyond this though, the SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes warned that more investment will be needed to ‘expand in a fiercely competitive global market’. The hope then is this will be realised and soon the UK could once again be a leading name in the vehicle industry.