27 Jun 2012
Automotive manufacturers lead recovery
Automotive manufacturers have set their sights on breaking all-time manufacturing records by the end of 2015, industry experts have predicted. The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders said the confidence is fuelled by multi-billion-pound investments committed to the UK over the past 18 months. These will see production expanded, new models introduced and thousands more people employed.
Figures announced by the SMMT said the UK could surpass the 1972 record of 1.92 million cars produced, with over two million units rolling off domestic manufacturing lines in 2015. Achieving annual car-manufacturing volumes in excess of two million units would equate to an increase in manufacturing output of more than 50% over 2011’s level of 1.3 million units.
Paul Everitt, the SMMT’s chief executive, said: “The UK automotive industry is leading economic recovery with increased manufacturing output, growing export volumes and new jobs being created on the back of major international investment in the sector. “Our engineering expertise, workforce flexibility and renowned motoring heritage, combined with top level collaboration between industry and Government, makes the UK an important location for the global automotive industry.”
He said the UK had attracted unprecedented levels of new investment and had a tremendous opportunity to see vehicle manufacturing rise to record levels in the years ahead. “To remain globally competitive it is essential that industry and government continue to work in partnership and that key euro-zone markets return to sustainable levels of economic growth,” he added.
Economic uncertainty across the euro zone is a factor that all businesses are watching closely, Mr Everitt said. “To a certain extent, the UK is insulated from the worst of demand fluctuations, as it exports 40% of its products to countries outside Europe.” However, he added that it was clear the on-going stability and success of ‘UK automotive’ was closely linked to demand from the continent.