26 January 2014

UK Production By Make : 2013

Nissan Juke assembly Sunderland
Provisional figures for UK production are now here. Total car making was up 3.1%, despite a poor December of minus 15.9%. (That low finish to the year was due to new large volume models being introduced in 2014). The total year figure was the best since 2007, good considering Europe's depressed market.

It may push the UK past France to become third largest car maker. As it happens I find this quite irrelevant, for two reasons. One is that France makes many commercial vehicles, while Britain's CV production is poor and getting more so.  The second is car making countries don't actually compete against each other in some sort of numbers game anyway. What it does show is that the UK has benefitted from a flexible workforce environment.

Jaguar assembly Castle Bromwich, Birmingham

Below are the numbers which as mentioned are provisional. The Bentley one is a guess, but not far off the mark I am sure.

2013 2012 +/- Comment

Nissan 501,756 510,572 -2% 2nd best ever

Land Rover 340,290 305,467 11% Best ever

Toyota 179,245 109,429 64% Best since 2008

MINI 174,948 207,530 -16% Worst since 2003

Honda 138,798 165,630 -16% Average

Jaguar 78,562 55,916 41% Best since 2005

Vauxhall 73,502 90,187 -19% Worst since 1981

Bentley 10,000 9,108 10% Maybe best ever

Others 12,661 11,067 14%

Total 1,509,762 1,464,906 3%     Best since 2007

Summary: Overall good, but a mixed bag. GM's European sales volume rationalisation affected Vauxhall. The new MINI for 2014 slowed production at Cowley, Oxford. Land Rover just goes from best year to best year. Jaguar is an a roll and Toyota benefitted from the Auris and it's hybrid option. With new models coming, we can expect 2014 to be higher again for car making in the UK. Good news for Europe.

Land Rover production site at Halewood, c. Liverpool

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