UK automotive industry could see 28,000 extra jobs

Up to 28,000 jobs could be created in the UK automotive supply chain by 2020, according to a new forecast by The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The report suggests that connected and autonomous technology, as well as the recent growth in vehicle manufacturing in the UK, is a significant opportunity to British component suppliers in the near future.

The report estimates that British car production will reach 2m vehicles a year by 2020, a 33% increase on the 1.5m that are currently made a year in the UK

An extra 9,500 will be required in order to reach the predicted levels of output, along with a three-fold increase in the number of workers at the component companies that supply manufacturers.

For every job created in a vehicle plant, it’s estimated that on average between three and five are created in the wider economy.

In 2015 it was announced that £2bn was invested by vehicle manufacturers and component suppliers, with more investment expected over the coming years.

Since 2009 vehicle production in the UK has increased by more than 50% with automotive products now accounting for a greater share of British exports than ever before at 11.8%.

Having suffered during the recession, the UK automotive supply chain is now showing strong signs of recovery.

Automotive Council figures released in September revealed that 41% of the average UK-built vehicle is now locally-sourced – up from 36% in 2011/2

Mike Hawes, chief executive, SMMT.
Mike Hawes, chief executive, SMMT.

With up to 80% of the components that go into a car capable of being produced here, the potential for supply chain growth has been pegged at some £4bn.

SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes commented: “The recovery of the UK automotive supply chain is gathering pace, and this new report shows that the opportunities for further growth and development will be plentiful in the coming years, particularly as the drive towards fully connected and autonomous vehicle technologies accelerates.

A strong domestic supply chain is crucial to the success of the industry as a whole, and crucial to attracting new inward investment, so it is critical that the support from government-industry partnerships we have enjoyed in recent years continues to ensure the sector is able to realise its full potential.”