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‘We’re proud to recognise the best that Britain has to offer’

Deputy editor John McIlroy pays tribute to some remarkable Brits in the automotive industry

Opinion - Britain

Interesting, as always, to talk to the top man in this year’s Brit List, our annual rundown of the top 50 UK-born executives in the global car industry. Stuart Rowley might confess that he’s a businessman rather than a car nut, but once again, here’s a Brit who’s right at the heart of some of the biggest decisions Ford has already made, and will make over the coming years.

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It’s probably just coincidence, in fact, but this week’s issue of Auto Express magazine turned into a bit of an all-round celebration of British automotive talent – off road and on it. Our twin test features two vehicles at the sharp end of even the wealthiest budget, admittedly, but there’s little doubt that in the latest Range Rover and the current Bentley Bentayga, the UK has two luxury SUVs that are at the top of their game. In this market, British-built cars are the epitome of high-end quality, engineering and craftsmanship – valuable exports, all.

You needn’t spend six figures to enjoy a UK-sourced car with modern tech, either. Nissan has been relatively slow to introduce electrification to its Sunderland-built Juke SUV, but as we discovered, adopting the systems from the Renault Captur has made this the most convincing iteration of the current Juke yet.

Indeed, such is the fondness for UK brands that even though MG is now based in China and its cars built there, it continues to make aggressive gains on the sales charts, in particular offering strong options at the most affordable end of the still-expensive electric car market.

That increased popularity has brought its own kind of problem – the firm recently halted orders of some models because of a backlog caused by the shortage of semiconductors. But the news that a new, all-electric roadster is under serious consideration is a sign that MG could finally be ready to tap back into some of the British charm that made the brand so popular in the first place.

Click here to read our first review of the Nissan Juke Hybrid...

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Editor-at-large

John started journalism reporting on motorsport – specifically rallying, which he had followed avidly since he was a boy. After a stint as editor of weekly motorsport bible Autosport, he moved across to testing road cars. He’s now been reviewing cars and writing news stories about them for almost 20 years.

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