Britain's carmakers unite for send-off to Frankfurt
11th September 2015
The UK car industry united this afternoon for a unique send-off ahead of one of the world’s most influential motor shows – and the biggest in Europe. In an extraordinary gathering in Greenwich, London, senior executives from across the industry were joined by Business Secretary Sajid Javid alongside 10 of their most exciting new cars, which will be flying the British flag at next week’s Frankfurt International Motor Show.
Vehicles from the broad spectrum of Britain’s thriving automotive industry were on display, from volume-produced family hatchbacks to high-end luxury and sports models. Each car is the result of significant investment in the UK’s R&D capability and production facilities, which has supported UK economic growth.
The event coincided with further evidence of the UK's automotive resurgence with news that the total amount of investment already announced this year has now surpassed £2 billion, with more than 4,500 new jobs created.
The UK automotive sector is one of the most advanced in the world, and global appetite for high-quality British-built cars has never been stronger with exports to more than 100 countries worldwide. Demand across Europe – our biggest export market – grew more than 10% last year, and overall car exports were worth £24.6 billion in 2014 – the most ever.
The first six months of this year saw more cars produced here than in any half-year since 2008, with a vehicle rolling off an assembly line every 20 seconds. While the number of cars produced in Britain continues to rise, they are also becoming ever-more British. Figures released earlier this year by the Automotive Council revealed that UK vehicle manufacturers spent 19% more on domestically manufactured components in 2014 compared with the previous year. This growth has brought more than £1 billion of extra business to UK-based supply chain manufacturers, boosting jobs and growth nationwide.
The automotive industry’s contribution to the UK economy is also growing: it now supports almost 800,000 jobs across the country – around 160,000 of which are in manufacturing – while the sector now makes up a greater share of overall UK exports than ever before at 11.8%. With year-on-year increases in productivity and technological innovation that is amongst the best in the world, the sector is globally competitive.