UK car industry shows its strength

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

New investment in the UK car industry signals renewed confidence in the UK and the Government's focus on growth, manufacturing and skills.

BMW have announced an additional £500 million investment in its UK production network over the next three years. The UK will be a production location for its next generation MINI models, helping to safeguard over 5,000 jobs.

BMW announces £500m investment in UK manufacturing operations and that the UK will produce its next generation MINI models.

Photo courtesy of BMW Group

It follows the announcement from Nissan that workers in Britain will design, engineer and build the next version of the best-selling Nissan Qashqai. This £192 million investment will help safeguard 6,000 jobs, both direct and indirect through the UK supply chain.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“I’m delighted that so many automobile manufacturers are actually bringing production and supply chain back to the UK.

“We want to do everything we can to encourage that by reducing our rates of corporate tax and setting up the Regional Growth Fund, which is assisting a number of automotive companies.

“We are putting money into advanced manufacturing technology and innovation centres and expanding the number of apprenticeships.

“We really want to see the automotive industry flourish and we are determined to do the things to help it succeed.”

UK car industry shows its strength to European chiefs

Some of the biggest car manufacturers in Europe were also at Downing Street today to discuss the growing confidence in the UK automotive industry and the Government’s commitment to its success.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) represents some of the biggest car, truck and bus manufacturers at European level such as Fiat, Volvo, Renault, Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and Toyota.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“Today’s conference in London shows the growing international recognition of our automotive industry and the interest in our national ambition to generate growth in the whole advanced manufacturing sector.

“Car makers are boosting their investment in Britain. Nissan will design and develop the new Qashqai in the UK and BMW is building the new generation of MINI here as well as putting £500m into their UK manufacturing operations.

“These decisions show the strength and competitiveness of our automotive sector, the skills base that drives our economy and the ambition of the business community to secure long-term growth, which we are taking every available step to support.”

Read the opening remarks of the Prime Minister at the breakfast meeting with the board of the ACEA.

The UK automotive sector

The automotive sector is hugely important to the UK, with:

  • Over 300,000 manufacturing jobs in the sector (12 per cent of the UK’s total manufacturing employment)
  • A further 480,000 jobs in the motor retail sector.
  • Automotive is the UK’s number one manufactured export.
  • In 2010 the UK auto sector exported £27 billion worth of vehicles and parts.
  • Automotive exports from the UK are almost at an all time high - approaching record pre-recession levels.
  • Over £1.5 billion was spent in the UK on automotive R&D in 2009 - spending actually rose 9% during the recession
  • The UK also has an unparalleled number of premium and niche manufacturers in the UK - as well as innovative technology makers and designers.
  • World class design engineering expertise and development facilities resides in the UK, including those at Millbrook and MIRA, the world-leading automotive vehicle testing facility.