British car industry gets £ 1 billion investments in 1 week

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 31 Mar 2015

Honda is to invest over £200 million to make Swindon plant its global production hub for next-gen 5-door Civic.

Britain’s car manufacturing industry has received yet another huge boost with three major manufacturers announcing UK investments worth more than £1 billion (Rs 9,843 crore) in the past six days.

Honda, Jaguar Land Rover and the London Taxi Company have each made announcements of funding to build new vehicle models, amounting to a total of £1.05 billion.

The latest announcements come on the back of a total of £7 billion (Rs 68,901 crore) committed in 2013 and 2014. The UK is seeing a renaissance in car production. In 2014, more than 1.5 million cars were produced – an increase of 50% since 2009, and the sector’s best performance since 2007.

The latest announcements include:

26 March: Jaguar Land Rover announces £600million new investment into its West Midlands operations, covering Castle Bromwich and Whitley sites.

26 March: Coventry-based London Taxi Company reveals a £250 million investment – as well as the creation of 1,000 jobs – as it prepares for production of a new range of ultra low emission taxis.

31 March: Honda unveils a £200 million spending plan with its Swindon plant to become the global production hub for the next-generation Honda Civic five-door.

Mike Hawes, chief executive,  Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said, “It has been a fantastic week for UK automotive, with more than £1 billion earmarked by vehicle manufacturers for new model production that will drive further growth for the sector. Honda’s decision to build its next-generation Honda Civic, a global car in an important and growing segment, here in the UK caps off a record six days – the first time three manufacturers have announced nine-figure investments over such a short period of time.”

The automotive industry is a vital part of the UK economy accounting for more than £64 billion turnover and £12 billion value added. With more than 160,000 people employed directly in manufacturing and in excess of 770,000 across the wider automotive industry, it accounts for 10% of total UK export of goods and invests £1.9 billion each year in automotive R&D. More than 30 manufacturers build in excess of 70 models of vehicle in the UK supported by around 2,500 component providers and some of the world's most skilled engineers.