Britain’s booming car manufacturing industry invested a total of £7 billion across 2013 and 2014, while the turnover for the industry reached £64 billion in 2014, with £2 billion spent on automotive R&D in 2013. UK automotive companies export to more than 100 markets worldwide. The total value of sector exports was £34 billion in 2013, making it the No 1 manufactured UK export with 11 percent of the UK’s trade in goods.
The UK’s established automotive supply chain of around 2,350 component manufacturers ensures that vehicle producers are able to source top quality parts from global names and innovative newcomers. Eighteen of the world’s biggest automotive suppliers have a base in the UK. The UK is a long-standing leader in engine production. Around 2.4 million engines are produced annually in the UK.
The UK automotive industry is leading in the development of low carbon vehicle technologies – investing heavily in new fuels and electric and hybrid systems as well as lightweight structures and improvements to internal combustion engines. Demand for ultra-low emission vehicles in the UK was up fourfold between and January and May 2015 compared to the same period last year.
The UK automotive industry attracts significant levels of foreign direct investment (FDI) and is home to seven volume car manufacturers; seven commercial vehicle manufacturers; nine bus and coach manufacturers; eight major premium and sports car producers; over 100 specialist brands; and seven Formula One teams.
The UK Government and the automotive industry are investing £500 million each over the next ten years in the Advanced Propulsion Centre to research, develop and commercialise the technologies for the vehicles of the future - projects that will put Formula 1 technology into buses and diggers and develop the next generation of engines.
Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and Nissan have R&D centres in the UK. In December 2014, Bentley Motors announced plans to build a new £40 million engineering, research and development centre that will create 300 additional jobs at its headquarters in Crewe. Aston Martin Lagonda announced £200 million of new investment in April 2015, for product expansion and the development of new models.