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UK Automotive industry in good shape reports SMMT

By Jack Stocks
Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 13:30

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ROBUST: Figures show healthy automotive sector

The UK automotive industry is in excellent economic, environmental and social shape, according to a new report published yesterday by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The trade body’s 15th annual Automotive Sustainability Report, based on 2013 figures, shows significant improvements, tallying with recent growth, investment and efforts to improve environmental performance, by the UK’s major vehicle and component manufacturers.

2013 saw the creation of an estimated 44,000 new jobs across the automotive sector, of which 14,000 were in manufacturing.

Domestic automotive manufacturing turnover also grew 10.3% to top £64billion, fuelled by extensive investment in research and development, which rose 9.7% since 2012 to £1.9billion a year.

Mike Hawes, Chief Executive at SMMT, said:. “The UK automotive industry contributes hugely to the country’s economic health by building millions of vehicles, engines and components here every year and employing hundreds of thousands of people.

“The progress made by the industry over the past year alone is hugely important.

“Growing our skills base and encouraging more automotive suppliers to base their businesses in the UK is now essential for us to maintain this positive momentum.”

Industry analysts suggest that by 2017 the UK could be building more than two million cars annually, breaking the record that has stood for more than 40years.

With continued investment from the world’s biggest automotive brands, the future looks bright for the sector but the rate of growth and demand for specialist skills has put manufacturers under enormous staffing pressures.

To support the forecast growth, the report also highlights the need for supplier capacity, suggesting that re-shoring more component providers is crucial.
In terms of environmental performance, the Sustainability Report highlights major reductions in CO2output and waste sent to landfill by manufacturing sites.

UK carmakers have cut landfill volumes dramatically in recent years so that, per vehicle, just 3.5kg ends up as landfill waste, a massive 91.3% reduction on 15 years ago when reporting began.

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