61% of UK manufacturing firms foreign owned

untitledNearly two thirds of UK manufacturing businesses that employ over 500 are now owned by foreign companies claims business minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe.

She went on to say that 320 manufacturing enterprises in the UK, with more than 500 employees, were now in a situation of having over 50% of their shares in foreign hands.

It is clear that foreign investors see the potential of British manufacturing, who are hoovering (or should I say Dyson-ing) up some of our most treasured brands. What is perhaps even sadder than the headline of this article is that in many cases these ‘Jonny-foreigners’ seem to actually do a better job that us at running them. Take for instance Jaguar Land Rover. Once failing under British ownership, JLR have seen production triple since under the ownership of the Indian’s.

Do these stats perhaps highlight another issues – that we might have lost the ability to run a business properly? Have we Brits lost our once envied entrepreneurial spirit? Whatever the reason it certainly must indicate that the system is broken somewhere!

What do you make of this news? Please comment below.


  1. Do these foreign firms pay their fair share of tax in this country ? We need to stop British firms being taken over and moving abroad otherwise we will have none left and the EU stops us from investing in our own industries so we keep losing out . A Britexit looks good for our future.

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  2. Even if these companies pay their fair share of taxes, the profit is sucked out of the country. Which we probably will never benefit from. All governments seem to hide behind the idea that foreign investment is good. Ok if there is no other way of saving a company but many companies go down the pan because of banks, either pulling the plug on loans or will not give them a loan. The sad state of Britain today. The other thing that is annoying is papers and magazines promoting foreign goods or never stating that a product is made in China or the Far East. People and farmers complain about the state of the dairy industry, but look on the supermarkets shelves and try to find British butter, or cheese products. Now Muller have taken over Dairy Crest even that has gone into foreign hands, at least it is for the moment British milk going into it.

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  3. Of course the corollary to this is how many foreign-based businesses are British owned. Not many I suspect.

    The reason that foreign owned companies prosper is that they get government support. The Americans are openly patriotic in business, and in the EU our so-called partners subsidise their manufacturing (e.g. French farming) whereas we slavishly obey the EU’s level playing field fantasy.

    I agree with the previous comment that Brexit is essential if we are to be able to control ownership of our businesses.

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  4. Lamenting to my husband exactly this point (we both work in Automotive)… that Britain seems incapable of managing a profitable volume car company, yet we are excellent at Formula 1, he pointed out that F1 is like warfare, and we’re rather good at that… Perhaps also like the Financial industry?

    Tata, through JLR, has pumped billions into the UK – Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya has had a massive hand in supporting the whole of the west midlands – there is a German guy at the helm of JLR though!

    There must be a more concentrated effort to promote uk-made goods though – but everyone wants a bargain, cut price deal, very few are willing to pay for provenance & ethics. Picking up Chiptheduck’s point – German companies always buy German, I worked for a German company in China where they shipped even the glass and carpet for the office from Germany!

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  5. Many of our supermarkets are still British (Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose etc) and they must be persuaded ny the government and we, the customer, to buy British from British companies.

    We want British bacon, not Danish.
    We want Stilton Cheese, not Roquefort.
    We want Malvern Water, not Evian.
    British bulbs, not Dutch.
    British beer, not German lager.
    British apples, not French Golden Delicious.
    Britsh made perfumes, not French at rip off prices.
    Scotch Whisky, not Bourbon.

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  6. Mahoosiv says

    Unfortunately it seems to me that the main problem we have is that the British people don’t seem to have the pride in our country to buy British, even if it is not the best made or trendiest compared to the imported option.

    That is reflected in our own Government, who seem to do nothing whilst our commercial assets are sold off, such as Cadburys. I don’t believe the French, German or Austrian governments wouldn’t have made some moves behind the scenes to prevent that happening in their country?

    At the same time, if we want the British people to start buying British, we need to start making more effort with our products, and striving to be better and continuously improve.

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