Tag Archives: Mike Hawes

17 year high for British car manufacturing as global demand hits record levels

  • 7 million cars built in the UK in 2016, an increase of 8.5% and the highest output for 17 years.
  • Exports at record levels for second consecutive year as more than 1.35 million cars shipped worldwide.
  • More than one in two cars exported to Europe, our single biggest trading partner, with demand up 7.5%.
  • Growth driven by multi billion pound investments in previous years – not post Brexit bounce.

UK car production achieved a 17-year high in 2016, according to the latest figures published by SMMT. 1,722,698 vehicles rolled off production lines last year from some 15 manufacturers,1 an 8.5% uplift on total production in 2015 – and the highest output since 1999.2

More cars are now being exported from Britain than ever before, the result of investments made over recent years in world-class production facilities, cutting-edge design and technology and one of Europe’s most highly skilled and productive workforces. Ten brand new car models began production in the UK last year, nine of them from premium brands which has helped make the UK the second biggest producer of premium cars after Germany and the third biggest car producer in Europe.3  Total committed investment annoncements in the automotive sector in 2016 were approximately £1.66 billion across a number of companies. This figure is down from  £2.5 billion in 2015.

Production growth was predominantly driven by overseas demand, with global appetite for British-built cars rising by 10.3% to an all-time high of 1,354,216 – a second consecutive annual record. Around eight out of every 10 cars manufactured in the UK is now exported, bound for one of 160 markets worldwide.

It was continuing economic recovery across Europe, however, that accounted for the bulk of the growth. Exports to the rest of the EU grew 7.5% to 758,680 and accounted for more than half of all UK car exports. Furthermore, Europe supplies the majority of components within UK-built vehicles, underlining the critical importance of tariff and barrier-free trade to future UK automotive production.

Growth was strong across a number of markets, notably the US – the UK’s biggest export destination after the EU – where demand rose by almost half (47.2%) meaning it now accounts for around 14.5% of all UK car exports. Notable uplifts were also seen in Turkey, Japan and Canada whilst China, third on the list of export markets, grew by a more modest 3.1% with 88,610 vehicles exported last year.

Domestic demand for UK built cars also grew last year, up 2.4% in the year, and the UK remains the second largest car market in Europe, again after Germany.4 One in seven new cars registered by UK buyers is now made in Britain, up from one in eight three years ago.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

The tremendous growth in UK production is testament to the global competitiveness of the UK automotive sector. High class engineering, advanced technology and a workforce committed to quality have helped turn around the industry, making the UK among the most productive places in Europe to make cars. Significant investment in new plants and products over the past few years has driven this growth, not a post-Brexit bounce. We want trade deals but they must be the right deals, not rushed deals. Failure to do so could damage UK automotive manufacturing beyond repair.

  1. The UK’s 15 manufacturing plants are owned by a range of independent and multi-national-owned companies: Aston Martin (Gaydon); Bentley (Crewe); Caterham (Dartford); Honda (Swindon); Jaguar Land Rover (Castle Bromwich, Solihull, Halewood); Lotus (Norwich); McLaren (Woking); Mini (Oxford); Morgan (Malvern); Nissan (Sunderland); Rolls Royce (Goodwood); Toyota (Burnaston); Vauxhall (Ellesmere Port).
  2. 1,799,004 cars were produced in the UK in 1999.
  3. New UK models starting production in 2016: Aston Martin DB11; Bentley Bentayga; Jaguar F-Pace; Infiniti Q30; Infiniti QX30; Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Convertible; McLaren 540; McLaren 570; Rolls Royce Dawn; Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer.
  4. ACEA data for 2016.

SMMT statement in response to the Prime Minister’s speech on Brexit

 SMMT_Master_Brandline_(RGB)


SMMT has released a statement today, Tuesday 17 January 2017, in response to Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech on Brexit.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

The recognition by the Prime Minister of the importance of single market arrangements for the automotive sector is critical. We need government to deliver a deal which includes participation in the customs union to help safeguard EU trade, trade that is tariff-free and avoids the non-tariff and regulatory barriers that would jeopardise investment, growth and consumer choice. Achieving this will not be easy and we must, at all costs, avoid a cliff-edge and reversion to WTO tariffs, which would threaten the viability of the industry.

In December 2016 SMMT hosted a roundtable discussion chaired by David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, on the future for the UK automotive sector following Brexit. The event took place at SMMT’s headquarters in London and was also attended by John Hayes, Minster of State, Department for Transport and Nick Hurd, Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. You can read more about the discussion here.

Read more about the UK automotive sector’s relationship with Europe

Source: SMMT

 

Widest ever choice of listening for UK motorists as 2.3 million new car buyers tune into digital radio in 2016

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More than eight out of 10 new cars registered in 2016 featured the latest digital radios, according to figures published by SMMT. Last year, 2.28 million cars hit the roads with the kit fitted as standard – the first time the 2 million milestone has been reached.

Over the past five years, the number of newly registered cars factory fitted with digital radio has increased more than four-fold, thanks to major investment by manufacturers. In 2012, just over a quarter of new cars featured the systems as standard, compared with 84.5% in 2016. Motorists who opt for a car with DAB can now enjoy more than 400 digital radio stations.

The government has committed to switching off the UK’s analogue radio signal when DAB coverage reaches 50% of radio listeners, but no date has been set yet.1

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

With increasing numbers of DAB-enabled vehicle models on the market, and new car registrations at record levels,2 more car owners than ever before are now able to tune into digital radio as they drive.

While vehicle manufacturers have already shown they are committed to the digital revolution, the setting of a confirmed switch to digital date by government would considerably accelerate conversion of existing vehicles in use. This remains a sizeable job and, consequently, a significant opportunity for the aftermarket.

  1. Current share of all radio listening via digital platforms is 45.5%: RAJAR data, Q3 2016.
  2. A record 2,692,786 new cars were registered in the UK in 2016.

Source: SMMT

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UK new car market achieves record 2.69 million registrations in 2016 with fifth year of growth

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  • Highest ever number of new cars demanded by UK customers, with 2,692,786 registered in 2016, up 2.3% on previous year.
  • Wide choice of new car models and affordable finance deals drives market to new high with fifth consecutive year of growth.
  • December only the second month of negative growth in 2016, as registrations dip -1.1% to 178,022 units.

The UK new car market achieved another record year in 2016, with annual registrations climbing for the fifth year in a row to almost 2.7 million, according to figures published today by SMMT. The market has experienced uplifts in 10 out of the last 12 months, albeit finishing with a December down slightly by -1.1% – with 178,022 new cars registered in the month.

Buyers were attracted by a range of new car models and attractive finance deals, pushing registrations up to 2,692,786 in 2016 – up 2.3% on the previous year and broadly in line with expectations. The UK new car market is one of the most diverse in the world, with some 44 brands offering nearly 400 different model types – and 2017 looks set to be another competitive year with almost 70 new launches already planned over the next 12 months.

Fleets were responsible for most of the growth, with demand growing to a record 1.38 million units. The private market remains at a historically high level, with more than 1.2 million private buyers registering a new car in 2016, although demand did fall over the latter three quarters. The competitive range of affordable finance is a crucial factor driving private demand as consumers are able to take advantage of low interest rates and flexible payment options.

Diesel and petrol cars continued to be by far the most popular fuel types for consumers with market share at 47.7% and 49.0% respectively. However, alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) experienced a strong uplift in demand, up 22.2% across the year. Plug-in hybrids and petrol electric hybrids, in particular, experienced significant growth, with demand up 41.9% and 25.1% respectively. Meanwhile, more than 10,000 motorists chose to go fully electric in 2016 – up 3.3% on 2015.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said

Despite 2016’s political and economic uncertainties, the UK’s new car market delivered another record performance as car makers offered an incredible range of innovative and high tech models. 2017 may well be more challenging as sterling depreciation raises the price of imported goods but, with interest rates still at historic lows and a range of new models arriving in 2017, there are still many reasons for consumers to consider a new car in 2017. Looking longer term, the strength of this market will rest on our ability to maintain our current trading relations and, in particular, avoid tariff barriers which could add significantly to the cost of a new car.

Source: SMMT

 

1.6 million cars roll off UK production lines in first 11 months, as global demand reaches new high

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  • UK car production grows 9.6% in the first 11 months to 1,613,495 units – its best performance since 1999.1
  • Exports seal another record, with 1,258,909 cars shipped to overseas markets in the year-to-date.
  • November output rises 12.8% to achieve 17-year high, with 169,247 vehicles rolling off production lines.2

UK car manufacturing output reached its highest level since 1999 in November, with almost 170,000 vehicles rolling off production lines, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Year-to-date volumes also achieved a 17-year high, with production in the first 11 months of the year rising to 1,613,495 units – already nearly 56,000 units ahead of year-end 2015.

Production for the home market was particularly strong in November, rising 14.0% to 33,745 units, while exports also saw robust growth, up 12.5%. In the year-to-date, output is up across the board, with domestic demand increasing 4.2% and exports enjoying an uplift of 11.1% to 1,258,909 – beating last year’s record by 2.5%.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said

Made in Britain is a badge coveted by car buyers worldwide, and these latest figures highlight not just that international appeal but the fact that the UK is a globally competitive place to make cars. These latest results are the product of significant investments made over the past few years, but which will continue only if we can maintain the competitive trading conditions that have enabled the UK to become an automotive success story.

1 1,644,094 cars produced in the UK in the 11 months January-November 1999

2 171,584 cars produced in November 1999

Source: SMMT

 

Eight out of 10 cars shipped overseas in October as export growth drives UK production

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  • UK car manufacturing dips -1.0% in October to 151,795 units as domestic demand falls.
  • Exports rise for 15th consecutive month, with 122,765 cars built for overseas markets, up 1.7%.1
  • Industry remains strong, up 9.2% year-to-date with more than 1.4 million vehicles produced.

car-manufacturing-table-october-16

UK car manufacturing dipped -1.0% in October, ending a 14-month run of growth for the industry, according to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.2

151,795 vehicles were built in the month, with production for export growing taking an 80.9% share of volumes. 122,765 cars were shipped to overseas customers, an uplift of 1.7% on the same month last year, and offsetting a -10.9% decline in production for the home market. Despite the fall, domestic demand remains strong, with production in the year so far up 3.3% and at its highest level since 2005.3 Overall production levels, meanwhile, achieved a 17 year record of 1,444,248 – up 9.2%.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said

October’s figures underline the export-led nature of the industry, with eight out of 10 cars built for overseas customers. Despite model changes which have ended the consistent growth pattern of the past year or so, we are still on track for a record number of exports.

Given this dependence on global trade, it is crucial that British-built cars remain attractive to international buyers and exports are not subject to additional tariffs, costs and other barriers to successful trade. It is also essential government ensures there is economic stability and a competitive business environment to ensure we continue to attract the global investment that is behind this performance.

car-output_rolling-year-totals-october-2016

  1. UK car export volumes have risen in every month since July 2015
  2. UK car manufacturing last fell in July 2015
  3. October 2005, when 363,513 units were produced for the domestic market

Source: SMMT

 

UK car exports pass the million mark in 2016

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  • UK car manufacturing volumes increase by 0.9% in September with 159,726 vehicles produced.
  • Overall output for first three quarters rises 10.5% as exports grow 12.2% to hit 1,000,642.
  • Overseas demand drives production, up 5.0% to 123,119 units, while home market falls -10.6%.

car-manufacturing-table-september-16

 

UK car manufacturing reported steady growth in September, with production rising by 0.9%, according to figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Exports rose 5.0% to reach 123,119 units, offsetting a -10.6% decline in production for the home market.

Overall year-to-date output increased 10.5% to 1,292,453 units, as production for global markets grew for a 14thconsecutive month. Export demand rose by 12.2% to take volumes past one million in the first three quarters for the first time on record.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

British-built cars are in demand across the world as demonstrated by the double digit growth in exports this year, resulting in more than a million cars produced for international markets. The vast majority of cars manufactured here in the UK are destined for abroad and future growth will depend on securing our international competitiveness and the barrier-free access to major global markets that has enabled UK Automotive to thrive.

 

Car output_rolling year totals June 2016

Source: SMMT

 

Over 2 million registrations so far in 2016 as 66-plate drives new car market

SMMT_Master_Brandline_(RGB)

 


  • 469,696 new cars registered in plate-change September – a steady rise of 1.6% and the highest September on record.
  • Increased demand for diesels and alternatively fuelled vehicles, up 2.8% and 32.6% respectively.
  • Year-to-date total registrations grow 2.6%, with more than 2 million units registered so far this year.

The UK new car market remained steady in September, rising 1.6%, according to data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. 469,696 cars were registered, as buyers purchased the new 66-plate.

september-new-car-registrations-2000-to-present-chart

The performance marks the highest September on record, while the total number of cars registered so far this year also grew to  2,150,495 units – up 2.6% compared with the same period last year. It is only the second time that the two million mark has been passed in September since 2004.1

Fleet registrations continued to drive growth, up 7.3%, while registrations to private motorists experienced a small decline, down -1.7% to 223,844 units in the month. Meanwhile, diesel registrations rose 2.8% as petrols declined
-1.1%. Alternatively fuelled vehicles continued to outpace the market, up 32.6% against the same month last year with a market share of 3.4%.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

September is always one of the biggest months for Britain’s new car market. The new 66-plate, combined with a diverse range of exciting new models featuring the latest technology, has certainly helped draw buyers into showrooms and many are taking full advantage of the attractive deals and low interest financing options on offer. Business and consumers place September orders many months in advance, so the ability of the market to maintain this record level of demand will depend on the ability of government to overcome political uncertainty and safeguard the conditions that underpin consumer appetite.

 

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  1.  September 2015 recorded 2,096,886 units registered, the first time the 2 million mark was passed in September since 2004.

Source: SMMT

£45 million investment sees 3,000 new jobs for Midlands automotive industry

File photo dated 13/09/06 of the production line for the new Mini at the BMW plant in Cowley, Oxford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday February 16, 2009. BMW announced today that 850 workers are to be laid off at its Mini car plant. The carmaker said the job losses at its factory in Cowley, near Oxford, would affect agency workers on the weekend shift. The cuts will come into force from March 2 when the plant begins operating five days per week, instead of the current seven. See PA story INDUSTRY Mini. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

The Midlands automotive sector is set to receive a £45 million boost, creating thousands more high-skill jobs for the region, the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced.

£35 million in government investment, as well as an additional £10.5 million from local organisations, will be dedicated to a new automotive business zone in Whitley, near Coventry, which is set to become home to nearly 3,000 new -skilled engineering and advanced manufacturing jobs.

This new investment will also improve local industrial transport links, including a new bridge to connect Whitley South to Jaguar Land Rover’s engineering centre and Global Head Quarters, already located in the region.

Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark, said, “Our world-class auto sector is leading the way and this new development will create thousands more skilled jobs. It shows how private and public sector can work together to make a difference to the economy.”

For more information on investment in the UK Automotive Industry visit www.smmt.co.uk/investment.

Source: SMMT

 

UK car production hits 16-year high, as industry urges government to safeguard future

  • Double digit growth for UK car manufacturing in June as output rises 10.4% to 158,641 units.
  • Best half year performance since 2000, with 897,157 cars produced – up 13.0% on 2015.
  • Future growth uncertain, as SMMT survey highlights industry concerns over trade and investment after Brexit vote.

Car Manufacturing table June 16

UK car makers reported their 11th consecutive month of growth in June, according to figures released today by SMMT. Production grew 10.4% to 158,641 units – the highest level for the month since 1998, when volumes reached 172,232.

The performance closes the industry’s best first half for 16 years,1 with 897,157 cars rolling off production lines so far in 2016 – up 13% on the same period last year as billions of pounds of earlier investment in new models came to fruition. Exports drove volumes, with year-to-date demand up 14.9% to 695,139 units, while production for the domestic market also grew 7.1%.

UK Automotive is export-led, with 77.8% of cars built in the UK destined for more than 100 overseas markets, but the majority of which are headed for the rest of the EU. The sector is part of a complex, highly-integrated European and global supply chain, and depends on significant cross border trade in components. While local content of UK-built cars is growing, 59% of vehicle components are imported, predominantly from the continent.

That relationship with our biggest market is now uncertain and, as a survey of SMMT members just published shows, is of significant concern. 57.1% of respondents believe the outcome will have a negative impact on their business, while just 8.3% foresee it being positive. A further quarter (27.7%) are uncertain about the impact at this early stage.2

Respondents, including businesses of all sizes, from component suppliers to vehicle manufacturers and importers, are most concerned about the potential negative impact of tariffs, custom charges or other barriers between the UK and the EU single market (68.4%). They also expressed concern about losing access to EU trade deals (66.4%), being bound by regulations in their prime export market over which they have no say (66.1%) and loss of access to the EU-wide skills market (63.6%).

The UK automotive manufacturing sector has grown dramatically over the past few years and now employs 169,000 people, including many skilled EU nationals recruited to fill vacancies which the local labour force could not meet. The lack of certainty regarding the future status of these workers in the UK was cited frequently as a concern (59.7%) along with the potential for a drop in sales (52.7%) and investment (46.1%), with larger companies showing the most concern about the latter.

Mike Hawes, Chief Executive, SMMT, said, “UK Automotive is globally competitive with overseas demand for British made products increasing, not least in Europe which is by far our largest market. The latest increase in production output, however, is the result of investment decisions made over a number of years, well before the referendum was even a prospect. These decisions were based on many factors but, primarily, on tariff-free access to the single market, economic stability and record levels of productivity from a highly skilled workforce. To ensure the sector’s continued growth, and with it the thousands of jobs it supports, these must be priorities in future negotiations.”

Car output_rolling year totals June 2016Source: SMMT