Automotive manufacturing in the UK bucked the economic trend last year, with latest figures showing an increase in production volumes, turnover, level of investment and number of employees.
A report from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows that the automotive industry made ‘significant improvements against a series of performance indicators’ during 2010.
Year on year, manufacturing turnover was up to £49bn as output rose by 27.8%, marking a return to pre-recession volumes.
Following David Cameron’s recent drive to push UK exports and support UK manufacturers, the automotive sector has led the way. The number of vehicles exported was up 31%, totaling £29bn. Additionally, new automotive apprenticeships were up 9% – adding to the 737,000 jobs within the industry.
The figures did not come at the expense of reducing CO2 emissions, which were down 10.5% per vehicle produced. Energy use and manufacturing waste to landfill produced per vehicle were both down by 8%.
Commenting on the report released today, Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, said: “We are making significant steps towards creating a globally competitive UK automotive sector, whilst also improving our environmental credentials to ensure a strong, long-term future for the industry. Manufacturing is vital to a rebalanced economy and cleaner, greener processes will support the transition to a low carbon future.”
Mr Everitt continued: “Automotive continues to attract major international investment, create high value jobs and cut its environmental impact but the UK must continue to compete on a global platform to secure future growth. We must incentivise private sector investment in R&D, training and equipment and ensure our commitment to be a leader in low carbon manufacturing supports our international competitiveness.”
The report concluded that for this growth to continue, the government should work to minimise the regulatory burden and reporting requirements.