Car production in the UK has reached the highest level since 2007, with sales rising in Britain and demand from abroad increasing, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has revealed.
According to the SMMT figures, one car was made every 20 seconds and over 1.5 million cars were manufactured in 2013, with production rising by 3.1% compared to 2012. The voice of the automotive industry also predicts that UK car manufacturers could break all time production records to become the third biggest car manufacturer in Europe by 2017.
Although car exports to Europe have fallen 20% since 2007, automotive exports to the rest of the world have been robust and there has reportedly been strong demand for UK built cars from China, the US and Russia. Four out of five cars built in the UK are said to have been sold internationally over the last year.
Automotive company Nissan was the most productive car maker in 2013, manufacturing over 500,000 cars at its Sunderland plant. Jaguar Land Rover was second, making 340,000 vehicles and increasing its production by 11%.
Toyota made 179,000 cars last year, while Mini produced 174,000, Honda 138,000, Jaguar 78,000 and Vauxhall 73,000.
Chief executive of SMMT, Mike Hawes, was cited as saying: “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.”
“Around 80% of the 1.5 million cars we produced last year were exported – a testament to the diverse, high quality of British manufacturing.
The automotive industry reportedly accounts for GBP59bn turnover and GBP12bn value added in the UK, as well as 10% of total UK exports. Vehicle manufacturers invest approximately GBP1.7bn in automotive R&D annually and employ more than 700,000 people.