Frankfurt International Motor Show 2015: the British are coming

Senior executives from Britain’s automotive sector gathered in Greenwich yesterday to celebrate the turnaround in the industry’s fortunes ahead of the Frankfurt International Motor Show.

Executives from companies including Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, and Vauxhall were joined by business secretary Sajid Javid alongside 10 British-built cars destined for the 66th edition of the motor show.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive used the event to announce that over £2bn has been invested in the industry so far this year, leading to the creation of over 4,500 new jobs.

Javid added: “When you look at the constellation of British business our automotive industry is really one of the brightest stars.

“If you look at the success over the past few years – especially at the record production and record sales, record exports, more and more people being employed in the industry – the results have been nothing short of spectacular.”

According to SMMT, cars manufactured in the UK are exported to over 100 countries and that demand across Europe grew more than 10% last year, with overall exports totalling £24.6bn in 2014.

James Wright, managing director, Nissan Motor GB noted that 80% of its output in Sunderland is exported, adding that the company’s UK operations have produced over 500,000 cars for the third consecutive year, a feat made possible with an overall investment of £3.6bn.

The supply chain is also benefiting from the upturn in automotive with manufacturers spending 19% more on domestically manufactured components in 2014 compared with the previous year.

Tim Tozer, chairman and managing director at Vauxhall Motors, said that local content in the new Astra stands at 25%, adding £1.4bn to the supply chain throughout the lifecycle of the car.

SMMT added that the automotive industry supports almost 800,000 jobs across the country, approximately 160,000 of which are in manufacturing. In the past 5 years Jaguar Land Rover alone has hired 2,500 new staff, either as apprentices or onto the graduate scheme.

“The automotive industry is a UK success story with government and industry working closely to boost productivity and growth,” Javid said in a statement. “Not only do we build cars extremely well, but our research and development and design capabilities are equally as impressive. Together we are shaping a 21st Century sector that is going from strength to strength.”

Cars on display – and the place they were manufactured – at the Old Naval College, Greenwich:

Aston Martin Rapide (Gaydon)
Bentley Flying Spur (Crewe)
Honda Civic Type-R (Swindon)
Jaguar XF (Castle Bromwich)
Range Rover (Solihull)
MINI Clubman (Oxford)
Nissan Qashqai (Sunderland)
Rolls-Royce Dawn (Goodwood)
Toyota Auris Hybrid Touring Sports (Burnaston)
Vauxhall Astra (Ellesmere Port)