UK car makers had a great year in 2014

Automobile manufacturers in the UK produced more than 1.5m vehicles in 2014 - the highest number since 2007- annual figures show.

2014 was the fourth-best year ever for new-car sales and these sales correlated with a surge in production: it was the strongest December in a decade helped the UK car manufacturing industry up to a 1.2% increase.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has reported that 1,528,148 cars were manufactured in the UK in 2014, the best figures since 2007 – put another way: in 2014, a car was produced every 20 seconds.

December 2014 saw 108,721 cars produced, up 27.1% on December 2013.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes, said: “Placed in context, a 1.2% growth in UK car manufacturing in 2014 represents a very successful year. The industry has overcome various challenges, including slower than expected recovery in Europe and weakness in some global markets.

“More than £7bn of investment into UK production facilities has been announced in the past two years, and we are now seeing the effects as new models begin production – with more expected in 2015.

“UK car manufacturing is now more diverse than ever, with a unique combination of volume, premium and specialist brands giving our products truly global appeal. This is epitomised by the doubling of car export values in the decade from 2005 to 2014.”

Business secretary Vince Cable said the UK’s automotive industry was thriving, with a new car rolling off the production line every 20 seconds, while increasing levels of investment were helping to secure local jobs.

“Through the government’s industrial strategy we are backing the automotive industry as it goes from strength to strength,” he added

Nissan’s factory in Sunderland was the biggest car maker of any single British-based manufacturer, with 500,238 rolling off its production line.

The other big figures were:

  • 449,507 vehicles produced at Jaguar Land Rover’s plants in Castle Bromwich, Halewood and Solihull
  • 178,993 at the Mini site at Cowley, Oxford
  • 172,215 by Toyota at Burnaston, Derby
  • 121,799 for Honda at Swindon
  • 77,836 by Vauxhall at Ellesmere Port