The UK is home to major international manufacturing brands, such as BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Airbus, GKN, Cobham, AgustaWestland, Boeing, Bombardier, JCB, Caterpillar, Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, BMW, Toyota, Nissan and Honda, with UK advanced manufacturing companies supplying all these businesses. The latest lean manufacturing processes and techniques developed by the UK advanced manufacturing sector enable customers to improve their productivity, flexibility and quality, ensuring they remain competitive in the global marketplace.
UK global companies and growing SMEs in all industries build on the UK’s distinguished manufacturing legacy by continuing to develop pioneering products and technologies that are sold all over the world. The GVA contribution of manufacturing to the UK economy in 2013 was £147.7 billion. UK exports of manufactured goods totalled £230.7 billion in 2013, accounting for around 46 percent of all UK exports (ONS figure from ‘Trade in goods’ series 2013).
The UK has world-leading capabilities in aerospace, automotive and the full range of engineering disciplines from advanced materials to manufacturing technologies. UK engineering companies do global business, supplying a wide range of end-users that include the Aerospace, Automotive, Chemicals, Construction, Food, Healthcare, Marine, Mining, Oil and Gas, Pharmaceutical, Power, Printing and Publishing and Steel industries.
The UK is home to Europe’s largest aerospace industry and the world’s second largest, contributing around £2.8 billion to the balance of trade. It generated turnover of £29 billion in 2014, with nearly 90 percent of final demand coming from exports; it employs 111,000 people and supports over 120,000 indirect jobs, as well as 3,300 apprentices. The UK designs, manufactures and assembles some of the most technologically complex and valuable parts of today’s airliners, including the wings, engines, aerostructures and advanced aircraft systems. Technology advances in the aerospace industry also have important wider implications for the economy as many developments have the potential for application in other manufacturing sectors such as defence, offshore wind and automotive.