There are more British car parts in the vehicles taking to our roads.
A new report has shown UK car manufacturing to be in good health, with more British parts being used and an increasing number of vehicles being made on home shores.
The document, entitled Growing the Automotive Supply Chain – Local Vehicle Content Analysis, was published by the Automotive Council. It showed that the proportion of car components made in the UK and used in vehicles assembled here has risen to 44 per cent this year.
This is a significant increase on the 41 per cent seen when the last survey was carried out in 2015 and the figure of 36 per cent recorded back in 2011, with exhausts, large pressings, small pressings and plastics all performing well.
The news is being seen as a step in the right direction with regard to efforts to re-shore the automotive supply chain and shield it against any potential detrimental impacts arising from Brexit.
It comes after British car manufacturing hit a 17-year high in 2016, with more than 1.7 million vehicles being made and production increasing by in excess of 72 per cent since 2009.
The positive growth was attributed to some £2 billion of investment going into the UK automotive industry over the past three years, much of it from overseas component makers attracted by the significant boost in production.
Work by the Automotive Investment Organisation, which is overseen by the government and encourages companies to set up facilities in Britain, was also credited with the positive performance.
One of the companies that has set up shop in the UK as a result of this is Magna of Canada, which is to open an aluminium casting factory in Telford later this year that will supply Jaguar Land Rover.
The Automotive Council’s report went on to predict even more good things, suggesting that hitting a target of 50 per cent British-made components in UK cars is plausible at some point in the future.
Business secretary Greg Clark said the report demonstrated “good progress in increasing the UK content of the vehicles we produce”.
However, Mike Hawes from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders warned that Britain must maintain its “long-term competitiveness” if the supply chain is to be grown further.
There is, of course, also Brexit to consider, with the unfortunate possibility that some overseas carmakers might not see Britain as such an attractive prospect if we’re saddled with tariffs and other barriers on imports once we leave the EU.
Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it, though, and enjoy this piece of positive news for British carmaking for now.