Over 1.5 million vehicles were made at car plants in the UK last year, the largest number since 2007. In 2014, a car was produced every 20 seconds and the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) believes the demand for first-rate brands, for example Jaguar Land Rover, is responsible for the 1.2% growth in annual sales.
The number of vehicles exported dropped for the second year running, even though nearly four out of five new cars were still distributed for circulation abroad.
The chief executive of SMMT, Mike Hawes, commented that overall, within the context of a ìslower than expected EU recovery and weakness in some global marketsî, a 1.2% increase is to be considered a ìvery successful year.î
Mr. Hawes went on to say that admiration and demand for such premium brands has led to a doubling of the entire value of car exports between the years of 2005 and 2014. It was added that over £7 billion had been put into UK production facilities in the previous two years.
The figures released show that a factory in Sunderland owned by Nissan made the most vehicles out of any British-based producer, reaching 500,238. A reasonably near second was the 449,507 cars produced at workshops in Halewood, Solihull and Castle Bromwich by Jaguar Land Rover, whilst 121,999 were made by Honda in Swindon.
The SMMT said this success had vindicated the policy of having diversity in the automobile market. The wide range of products, from the specialist units to those produced in larger volumes, allowed the industry to satisfy demand all over the world. This is why they have seen an increase in purchases from outside the European Union.
China is the UKís second-biggest market outside the European Union, at present receiving 12% of exports in the past year. This is a huge increase considering Chinese business accounted for only 1% of Britainís target markets in 2007. The experts of the automobile industry expect this trend to continue.
The success of the car production industry has been cited by the UK government as one the reasons for the economic recovery. Despite the fact that the export industry was hit by economic and political issues in Russia and Eastern Europe, there is a keen expectation that the vehicle production will continue to accelerate. The SMMT even expect it to reach an all-time high and break the record set in the 1970ís by the time we reach 2017.
Mr. Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, stated: ìThese production figures are testament to the strength of our automotive industry, and show that even in tough economic conditions it continues to be one of the driving forces behind our economic recovery. From Sunderland to Goodwood, Britain is turning out cars that are in demand all around the world.
He went on to praise the industry with providing a number of ìsecure local jobsî and credited the governmentís business policy with supporting the car industry and allowing it to go from ìstrength to strength.î