UK automotive manufacturing turned over a record £71.6 billion last year.
UK automotive manufacturing turned over a record £71.6 billion last year.

UK automotive manufacturing turned over a record £71.6 billion last year according to new figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Sector jobs increased by 17,000, with 814,000 people now employed in UK Automotive. Vehicle production was up 5.2% to 1.7 million units and average new car CO2 emissions were down by a third since 2000, falling 2.6% in 2015.

The SMMT 17th annual Sustainability Report also noted that waste from production was cut by almost a quarter, and water and energy use per vehicle produced were also reduced. 41% less waste was sent to landfill in 2015 than in the previous year, while the amount of water used to make each vehicle fell to a new low – down by 7.6%, driven largely by improvements in painting processes.

The record turnover by automotive manufacturers represents a 7.3% increase on 2014, with the additional value generated for the UK economy standing at some £18.9 billion – itself a 3.8% rise on the previous year. Investment in R&D by the industry also reached a record high of £2.5 billion in 2015, which now represents some 12% of the country’s total R&D spend.

Record turnover

‘UK automotive has gone from strength to strength, and is now delivering record turnover, record productivity and more jobs,’ said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive. ‘These strong results go hand in hand with a steadfast commitment to improving our environmental performance, which is clearly demonstrated through reductions in CO2, waste and water use.

‘This success has been due to unrestricted access to the single market, input to EU legislation to safeguard the interests of UK Automotive, and the ability to recruit talent from abroad. Our growth depends on certainty and continued open and reciprocal access to the 100-plus markets with which the UK automotive industry so successfully trades. This is not just finished cars but components, technologies and the wider automotive value chain. Any risks and uncertainty to these fundamental benefits need to be addressed head on by UK government.’

This story is reprinted from material from the SMMTwith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.