30 May 2014

A Tale Of Three Sectors: UK Vehicle Manufacturing

The new Qashqai being made in Sunderland, UK.

The UK car industry has more twists in it than an intricate whodunit. The latest trends have been identified at this blog before, but April 2014 confirms it. The car making industry is going well, engine production is flat and commercial vehicle manufacturing is on life support. We can see that in the charts below, thanks to the SMMT for making them available.

The volume in cars was slow at the beginning of the year, when the very important new Nissan Qashqai and BMW MINI were starting up. Now they seem to be flowing off the production line, a very solid 21.3% increase was achieved. Car making will continue to thrive.

Engines are an important part of UK manufacturing, and they have been consistently even for some years now. Unless the main engine producer Ford has an upswing in volume, the present volumes will be maintained.

A Hybrid LF Truck made in Leyland, Lancashire
CV manufacturing was a big part of the UK vehicle industry. Unfortunately, it has fallen away badly, to the sorry state it is now. Leyland DAF (Paccar Group) and GM Vauxhall are the only two high volume CV makers. GM gives no long term assurances and other manufacturers are unlikely to come so this is as good as it gets.

Summary: The three sectors of the UK car industry shown here are all on very different trajectories. It seems they will continue as they are for the foreseeable future.

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