How much of your car is actually made in Britain?

VIVARO_768x432_10The news of the current British automotive manufacturing boom has been well publicised, but some question at what point the simple assembly of foreign parts ends and where real manufacturing begins… perhaps quite rightly.

It is true that while many cars are badged as ‘made in Britain’ a lot of the component parts from most of the main manufacturers are actually produced overseas.  However, there has been good news released this week by the Automotive Council – domestic component-makers sold 19 per cent more products to UK vehicle producers last year than in 2013.

To put this in some context: The latest version of the Vauxhall Vivaro van contains more than twice the number of British sourced components (now 40%) than it’s predecessor (16%). This realignment in sourcing British components means an additional £600m being spent with British suppliers.

In 2014 we built over 1.6 million vehicles and 2.5 million engines, exporting over 80% of our production. The UK is the second largest producer of premium cars in the world, with over 40 companies making vehicles here. There is a real expectation that production will hit over 2 million vehicles in the coming years.

With this sort of growth, and at least some manufacturers beginning to source more in the UK made parts, the chances are that your next car will be more made in Britain than your current one. In short, the label of made in Britain on cars is becoming more accurate.

If you find yourself with a case of insomnia one evening you can read the full report here>>>



  1. James, as you know most of our heater’s main components are made in UK, Aluminium Shell by Sapa Hydro in Newcastle, electronics by QPE in Glenrothes, but we still struggle to make the plastic parts and rubber mud heavy base in the UK because of the highg MOQs’, extortionate tooling costs which are 10x that of a China tooling factory. I would love to hear from UK companies that could do this for us in sensible qtys and amortization of the tooling.
    PS – what % of cost of the BOM has to be achieved to say “made in UK”?

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    • It is clear that there are real gaps in the UK manufacturing market which make a totally British supply chain almost impossible (especially in technology). You are not the first to mention the comparable cost of tooling to us as a root cause. I will keep my eyes open for you.

      Your last question is a very interesting one. The definition of made in Britain is not clearly defined in any sector. Arguably there would need to be a sector based approach to any potential legislation. In short, I don’t know… but then in my defence neither does anyone else.

      – James

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      • I was told by one Gov dept that 28% of the BOM should be MIB but I know companies where they only assemble Chinese components a wee bit repack claiming to be MIB. It needs clarification and the cheaters removed and blocked from saying such things. Tough but fair James. Also a UK designed product made somewhere else to our ISO90001 standards might fall down a crack?

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  2. Sounds like they’re going in the right direction!

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