29 January 2010

Car Production UK: 2009

With the worldwide economic downturn, 2009 was a bad year for car production in most countries and especially the UK. This was because not many small cars are made there and '09 saw small cars do well with the schemes in place in Europe to encourage downsizing. UK car manufacturing slumped from 1,450,00 to 999,000.

There are more cars models made in the UK than many realise, and those that are made there are not usually what people think either. Nissan has been the main producer since the year 2000. It made 27% of all cars in 2008 (387,000) and 34% (338,000) in '09. Other makers were:


2(2) Mini 214,000 21%
3(4) Toyota 127,000 13%
4(5) Land Rover 115,000 11%
5(6) GM Vauxhall 77,000 8%
6(3) Honda 76,000 7.6%
7(7) Jaguar 42,000 4%

Most UK car makers started disastrously in 2009, but rallied somewhat by years end. Honda was the biggest loser, especially with the CR-V. The European Honda Jazz (Fit), previously sourced from China, has just started being made in the UK. This will help for 2010 Honda UK production numbers and bring to three the models made there. Nissan also has a new model (Juke) coming soon as does Jaguar with the XJ. Until it arrives, Jag will be down to just two models so it will be most welcome.

Overall, a solid industry but it needs to move rapidly to alternative fuel vehicles. Nissan are well placed in this area. Electric car batteries will start to be made at Nissan Sunderland this year while Electric car production may or may not follow. The Juke will replace the Micra at the plant also. Toyota will commence production of an Auris hybrid for this UK summer.

The bottom line: Despite the poor 2009 year, a glimmer of hope for 2010.

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