RAC Cars News


Car Production Booming In The UK

By raccars Published

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It's no secret that the auto industry is booming in the UK, with figures for 2014 showing that both the car retail and manufacturing sectors grew last year. However, car production in the UK reached a seven year high last year, with more than 1.5 million cars built. Not since 2007 has British car production reached this level.

2014 saw 1,528,148 cars roll off the production line in the UK, 1.2% more than the previous year. December in particular was a boom month, with production up 27.1% compared to 2013 and 108,721 cars built. The spike in the last month of the year was due to the opening of new facilities by Jaguar Land Rover and Mini, designed to build the new Land Rover Discovery Sport model and the newest generation of Mini hatchback.

UK car production lines are now delivering a new vehicle every 20 seconds. The figures saw Business Secretary, Vince Cable, call the UK's automotive industry a driving force behind the country's economic recovery.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders claimed that 1.2% gains showed a very successful year, all the more impressive for the number of challenges faced by the industry, including slow recovery in the EU and new weaknesses in other international markets. The last two years have seen over £7 billion invested into new car production facilities, spawning a number of new models and with more on the way this year. Refreshed line ups for firms, including Jaguar with its new XE compact saloon, produced at a new state of the art factory in Solihull, and for Vauxhall with a major revamp for its key Astra model, are expected to make 2015 another successful year.

The figures are good news for the UK as a whole because a large percentage of the cars built here are destined for export. Auto export values in the UK have doubled over the last nine years, although a weak Eurozone has seen export volume slide a little for the last two years.

The biggest manufacturer in the UK is Nissan, which built more than half a million cars in its Sunderland factory last year. Nonetheless, the total was 0.3% lower than the previous year. Jaguar Land Rover reported manufacturing growth of 7.3%, year on year, with an output of 449,507 units, while Mini built 178,993 cars at its Oxford plant in 2014.

The specialist car industry also grew significantly last year, building 27,560 cars for an increase of 21.8% over 2013.

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