An Overview of British Automotive Growth

A growing sector

1972 saw Britain’s car production peak, with close to two million manufactured on British soil. Though this has depleted significantly, with the UK now ranking 14th healthy incline is promising a bright future for the industry.

A steady increase since 2009 is set to continue according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). “The UK’s key strengths” says a representative of the Society, “are in its engineering expertise, workforce flexibility and strong support  from government. These factors, coupled with a robust domestic supply chain and the UK’s enduring automotive heritage, will see automotive manufacturing in the country grow for years to come”.

Regional manufacturing 

The map below, from Chaucer Direct, displays the spread of car manufacturing plants across the UK presently. Hover over the map to see the employee opportunities as a result;

Growth in jobs

Osbourne’s call for doubled apprenticeships is a promising one for a sector investing heavily in such employment. The SMMT remarks that the “resurgent UK motor industry has a huge range of fantastic career options”, predicting 100,000 new jobs by 2020, “global manufacturers and suppliers large and small are continuing to invest in training young people for industry, with take-up of apprenticeships increasing 39% over the last two years”. Though also encouraged by the announcement, Chief Executive Steve Nash of the Institute of the Motor Industry warned that “we are still unclear of whether these are additional 100,000 apprenticeship places and whether they will be allocated to specific sectors”.

Growth in jobs

On a global scale, the UK still has significant progress to make. Nonetheless, investment and Government promises are certainly pushing the sector in the right direction and time will tell if this optimistic period is long-lasting.


  1. 1972 – peak car production in Britain. declining from 1973.

    1973 – Britain joins the EEC (now the EU).

    Anyone see any correlation?

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  2. Richard Willan says

    I make another plea for someone to proof read these notes. They are essentially good but marred by bad grammar and spelling.

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    • Hi Richard – We appreciate that there are those for whom the incorrect use of grammar or an miss-typed word is indefensible. Indeed, I understand The Times suffers with 1000’s of emails/letters each day from people who are keen to point out such mistakes. With the limited time and resources we have we do the best we can. When you manage 4 separate websites, a national media campaign, organise an event that this year will attract close to 10,000 people, work on the board that manages the newly launched made in Britain marque, organise various sundry events throughout the year and are in the process of setting up an national charity something has gotta give! It is also worth saying that this is all done in our ‘spare’ time without any financial incentive for doing so.

      Given all this commitment to selflessly and tirelessly helping manufacturers, like yourself, I would hope that we might be cut a little slack with the odd typo? Of course we hate to put things out that are not perfect but I have to admit that this is as good as it is going to get. We would love you to carry on supporting our efforts by keeping up to date with our blog. Perhaps you can consider the grammatical/typographical issues as adding character or quirk to the language? If not then we thank you for your support thus far and will continue to to do what we can for you, and manufacturers like you.

      All the best!

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