UK car output is expected to reach an all-time record level of 1.95 million vehicles in the next two years.
UK car output is expected to reach an all-time record level of 1.95 million vehicles in the next two years.

The UK automotive sector reached its all time highest turnover of £69.5 billion in 2014, according to new figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Manufacturing output, vehicle sales, jobs and export values also grew, while the environmental impact from vehicle production has been reduced dramatically, says the SMMT’s 16th annual Sustainability Report.

The latest figures confirm an upward trend for new vehicle demand and manufacturing output, with almost 1.6 million vehicles built in 2014. Last year, car production alone grew to 1.53 million units – the highest level since 2007 – with an increasing number of vehicles built for the domestic new car market, which grew 9.3% to reach 2.48 million registrations last year. On current trends, UK car output is expected to reach an all-time record level of 1.95 million vehicles in the next two years.

Meanwhile, investment in more efficient, high-tech manufacturing processes has led to huge gains in productivity. In each of the five years to 2014, an average of 11.5 vehicles were produced for every person employed in the industry, compared with 9.3 vehicles for the period from 2005 to 20093.

Despite greater production volumes, environmental impact has been significantly reduced. Total waste to landfill from all automotive production fell by more than a quarter (26.3%) in 2014, and 92.3% since 2000. Meanwhile, water and energy use fell by 10.7% and 10.4% respectively, and CO2 emissions per vehicle produced fell by 5% compared with 2013.

New standards

International demand for British-made vehicles also continues to increase with total export value rising 1.8% to £34.6 billion – a 103.8% uplift since 2000. It adds up to a considerable increase in the industry’s direct contribution to the British economy, rising 6.2% to £15.5 billion last year.

‘The UK automotive industry can be proud of its achievements as it continues to set new standards,’ said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive. ‘The sector is delivering growth in volumes, turnover and employment, while reducing its environmental impact. Continuing to expand in a fiercely competitive global market is a major challenge and will depend on a supportive economic and regulatory environment which promotes investment to foster innovation and continuing productivity improvements.’

The full report can be found here (pdf).

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