UK specialist car manufacturers could enjoy big production boost

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The UK’s specialist, low volume car manufacturing industry is set to enjoy a 60% production boost by 2020 due to increasing global demand, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The UK Specialist Car Manufacturers Report 2017 reveals that specialist car makers turned over a collective £3.6 billion in 2016 – up 52% from 2012 – while employing 11,250 people – an 11.5% increase on five years ago.

The SMMT says that thanks to an increasing number of affluent buyers and new markets taking an increasing interest in performance driving and luxury models, production is on an upward trend. Output has risen by a quarter (25%) since 2012 and, by 2020, it is forecast to surge 60%, from the current 32,000 units to some 52,000.

The sector is an important contributor to the UK economy, with 65% of the vehicles it produces exported to markets worldwide, including the EU, US, China, Japan and the Gulf States.

Meanwhile, it supports an equally diverse UK supply chain, sourcing, on average, two thirds (65%) of vehicle content from local tier one companies and a further 30% from across the wider EU.

Says SMMT chief Mike Hawes: “Our specialist car manufacturing sector is one of the UK’s global success stories – making world-leading products and pioneering next generation technologies that benefit everyone.

“For this to continue we need certainty on Britain’s future trading relationships, including customs plans, market access, regulations governing the design, production and approval of vehicles, and rules around movement of skilled workers.

“This will provide the assurance the sector needs to remain competitive and make investment decisions that enable it to continue to develop innovative, exciting and desirable products that are the envy of the world.”