UK car manufacturing up with one car built every 16 seconds

Even though UK car making is booming, output is far from breaking all-time manufacturing record set in 1972

NIssan Qashqai plant, factory, build, plant, sunderland

2016 looks set to be another record year for car manufacturers as the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show a vehicle rolling off a production line somewhere in the UK every 16 seconds.

The overall trend points upwards, too, as first quarter output figures for 2016 are up 10.3 per cent on the previous year. But if we are to break the all-time record for domestic vehicle manufacturing, more has to be done, says SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

Bestselling cars 2016

In 1972 the UK churned out 1.9 million vehicles, the highest number ever recorded. Although 2015 was a bumper year for manufacturers, it only saw 1,587,677 vehicles made. That was the highest number in a decade but we’re still a long way short from breaking the all-time record for vehicle production. 

Could the UK car building record fall by 2020?

According to Hawes, for the UK to break its own record, there would need to be 38,000 more jobs across the manufacturing sector, with 27,000 coming from the supply side, to meet the rising production demands. 

It's a tall order but work is already underway. Wales has taken up the baton by securing £240million in investment from the automotive sector in the first quarter of 2016 – creating 1,000 jobs.

Morgan factory - car construction rear front

Aston Martin recently announced a £200million new factory in Glamorgan to build its all new DBX crossover, while TVR’s comeback hinges on its new £30million sports car facility in the Ebbw Vale Enterprise Zone. Toyota has also pledged £7million to produce its next generation hybrid engines in Deeside. Cumulatively, these investments will secure over 1,000 jobs.

Hawes said: “These investments will help re-establish Wales as a car manufacturing country in the UK.”

Hawes added: “UK car plants were at their busiest for 12 years in March, with a vehicle rolling off production lines every 16 seconds thanks to heightened international demand for British vehicles. Much will depend on economic and political conditions in key markets but, with several brand new global models starting production here in the first quarter alone, the prospects for future growth look bright.”

Do you think the UK is on its way to eclipsing the car manufacturing record of the 1970s? Let us know in the comments below...

Recommended

UK child car seat, booster seat and baby seat laws explained
Child seat booster seat car seat
Consumer news

UK child car seat, booster seat and baby seat laws explained

Detailed info on latest baby seat and child seat regulations, plus when it’s OK to use a booster seat
24 Mar 2021
8,800 drivers on UK roads with 12 points
Driver with second highest points doesn't have licence
News

8,800 drivers on UK roads with 12 points

There are currently 8,800 drivers in the UK still driving despite having enough penalty points to trigger an automatic ban
9 Mar 2021
VED road tax: how much does it cost?
car tax calculator
Consumer news

VED road tax: how much does it cost?

Confused by VED road tax? Our comprehensive guide explains how much you'll pay on your next car
4 Mar 2021
Budget 2021: Fuel duty frozen for 11th consecutive year
News

Budget 2021: Fuel duty frozen for 11th consecutive year

Chancellor scraps plan to increase fuel duty in bid to keep cost of living down during ongoing Covid-19 pandemic 
3 Mar 2021

Most Popular

'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'
Opinion Nissan EV
Nissan

'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'

Steve Fowler thinks Nissan is in a great position to build on the Leaf's success
8 Apr 2021
Nissan to launch new Juke-sized electric car
Nissan Juke EV - front (watermarked)
Nissan Juke

Nissan to launch new Juke-sized electric car

The new Nissan Juke-sized electric car will sit below the Ariya, and our exclusive images preview how it could look
8 Apr 2021
New 2021 Citroen C5 teased ahead of reveal on 12 April
Citroen C5 2021
Citroen C5

New 2021 Citroen C5 teased ahead of reveal on 12 April

New flagship Citroen C5 model will make its debut next week, sporting a bold new look
8 Apr 2021