www.britishbuiltcars.co.uk was created ten years ago to answer the perennial question: "Exactly which makes and models of car are still made in the UK?" There was much confusion around this subject, due in part to the extensive change in ownership of Britain's major car companies in recent years and the welcome investment in this industry by three major Japanese producers, Nissan, Toyota and Honda. Unfortunately, after many years building cars in this country, Honda recently closed their plant in Swindon, Wiltshire. Nissan and Toyota remain committed to the UK.
Despite the impression given by media stories over many years, the UK car industry is still in a very healthy state despite current political uncertainties, pandemics and worldwide EV tremors in the new car market. There are several volume manufacturers building high quality, well designed and innovative vehicles in competitive quantities and there is also a very vibrant and growing group of smaller manufacturers producing highly original cars for specialist and niche markets. In particular there is now a very buoyant market for continuation models and re-engineered classics, often known as restomods. It's also worth noting that the UK plays host to the largest concentration of motorsport firms in the world, with many of the Formula 1™ teams based here.
The facts speak for themselves. According to the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders), pre-pandemic, the UK made a total of 1,303,135 vehicles in 2019, with 1,055,987 shipped worldwide. Following Brexit, with more than one in two cars exported to Europe, still currently the UK's single biggest trading partner, the tariff-free agreement reached with the EU will hopefully end the uncertainty of recent years and help stabilise growth in this market. The pandemic situation of the last two years has had a major impact on the UK car industry, as it has with the rest of the world, and it remains to be seen how long it takes for the market to return to something like normal.
To illustrate the negative results of the various hits taken by the UK industry over the past few years, the manufacturing output figures from 2022 were down by almost 50%, compared with the highs of 2016. The only way is up.
Car manufacturing in the UK still directly employs approximately 145,000 people, plus many more in this country's automotive supply chain. It is estimated that every job in UK vehicle assembly supports 7.5 elsewhere in the economy.
We are in the ongoing process of widening the scope of manufacturers listed on the site to include motorbikes, specialist and commercial vehicles, all vital parts of the UK's manufacturing base.
www.britishbuiltcars.co.uk features over 100 UK manufacturers producing over 250 different models. We now also list a British-built vans, other specialist wheeled vehicles and over 30 models of motorbike made in the UK.
The product information featured on this site has been taken from the manufacturers' own websites, with their knowledge, or supplied by them directly. Where the smaller, specialist manufacturers are concerned only 'turnkey' vehicles are listed on this site, but some of their models are also available as self-build projects.