“Almost 800,000 people are still working in Britain’s automotive industry”

“Almost 800,000 people are still working in Britain’s automotive industry”

Category : ,

Two years after Covid first clobbered us, the car business in the UK remains badly bruised, but still alive and kicking. It’s down, but not out.

And believe it or not, in some departments, it’s healthier today than two years back. I’ve accessed the like-for-like (Spring 2020 vs Spring 2022) figures. Thankfully, they state that we still have 60-plus specialist manufacturers and that all seven of our major premium and sports car makers remain.

Mainstream manufacturer numbers dipped from six to five – thanks to Honda abandoning its Swindon factory. But the fact is that the struggling, isolated firm (now in need of a new partner or owner, surely) long ago lost its appetite for building cars in Blighty.   

On a happier note, in the same pandemic-ravaged period, the number of automotive supply companies here grew from over 2,400 to 2,500-plus, while vehicle design centres on our soil almost doubled – from five to nine. Impressed? We bloody well ought to be.

True, two years ago Britain was celebrating new car sales of 2.3 million (and UK production of 1.2m) in 2019. And today we’re forced to reflect that only 1.6m were bought (just 860,000 built here) in 2021. Not good.  

That said, we shouldn’t be shocked by these numbers. For much of the pandemic, consumers were unable to test drive and be enticed into new vehicles, due to laws that insisted dealerships couldn’t open.

Component and vehicle supply difficulties plus transport issues were – and remain – extra unwelcome problems. And the icing on the cake is that over the last couple of years, many manufacturers have significantly upped their retail prices to what some consumers now regard as prohibitively expensive levels.

Surprise, surprise, all the above has encouraged untold drivers to stick with the cars they’ve already got or opt for newer, but not brand-new, versions – especially as so many of them work from home these days. They argue that their new, low or no-commuting, reduced-mileage lifestyles mean they don’t need (and maybe can’t afford) expensive new cars they’d hardly ever use. And it’s an argument the motor manufacturing industry must address if it’s serious about bringing new-car sales back to pre-Covid levels.

What the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders describes as “people employed across UK automotive” totalled 864,000 two years ago. Today it’s 797,000. And although those job losses are often tragedies for unwanted workers and their families, there are some positives. Almost 800,00 people (156,000 of them in manufacturing) still earning a decent living in Britain’s automotive industry makes it one of the UK’s biggest employers. And the SMMT’s forecasts for “job creation” in the car business have doubled since 2020.

We have the talented workers, famous brands, state-of-the-art factories and world-class design studios to justify a million jobs in UK Automotive in the coming years. Scotland and Northern Ireland owe it to themselves to join the car-building club. Let the growth, and the massive recruitment drive, begin – starting with formal invitation/incentive letters from UK Government to Tesla and Hyundai asking each to open a factory in Britain.

Click here for our list of the best-selling cars in the UK…

Source : Autoexpress.co.uk
Tags :
New all-electric Citroen e-C3 to come with next-generation C3 line-up

New all-electric Citroen e-C3 to come with next-generation C3 line-up

Category : Best cars, Car News

Citroen’s pure-electric car line-up currently stands at one with the e-C4 (discounting [..]

New Hyundai Ioniq 6 N previewed by RN22e concept car

New Hyundai Ioniq 6 N previewed by RN22e concept car

Category : Best cars, Car Reviews

Hyundai has given us a glimpse of its performance electric car future [..]

New Hyundai Ioniq 5 N electric hot hatch confirmed for for 2023

New Hyundai Ioniq 5 N electric hot hatch confirmed for for 2023

Category : Car Reviews, Newsletter

Hyundai’s high-performance N Division has confirmed production of the Ioniq 5 N, [..]

New Hyundai N Vision 74 concept is a retro hydrogen muscle car

New Hyundai N Vision 74 concept is a retro hydrogen muscle car

Category : Car News, Newsletter

Unveiled alongside the RN22e concept was another show car from Hyundai, one [..]

2023 Honda ZR-V debuts in Japan with hybrid power

2023 Honda ZR-V debuts in Japan with hybrid power

Category : Car Reviews, Newsletter

A new model is coming to Honda’s SUV lineup and it’s called [..]

New Skoda Vision 7S teaser previews future all-electric SUV

New Skoda Vision 7S teaser previews future all-electric SUV

Category : Car News, Newsletter

Skoda has confirmed that its forthcoming new design language will be introduced [..]

New Kia EV4 electric crossover to rival the Mercedes EQA and BMW iX1

New Kia EV4 electric crossover to rival the Mercedes EQA and BMW iX1

Category : Car News, Newsletter

Kia already has plenty of experience in the all-electric crossover market with [..]

New MG5 EV facelift on sale from £30,995

New MG5 EV facelift on sale from £30,995

Category : Car News, Newsletter

Britain’s fifth best-selling electric car has been revised for 2022, this is [..]