The UK automotiveindustry is growing from strength to strength despite the potential issues anduncertainties presented by the global economy. In 2016, the sector built a record year, as more than 1.7 million carswere manufactured and exports of around 1.3 million.
The industry, which is one of the mostproductive sectors in UK, employs 169,000 people (Mikes Hawes, 2017). Latest research by theDepartment of Business, Innovation and Skills proposes that potential growth inthe automotive industry is expected to come from suppliers than the vehiclecompanies. The pace of technologicalchange in the automotive industry is increasing. Within the next 15-20 years, a radical mix ofvehicle technologies is expected. The potential value forthe UK economy of such new technologies is immense and the government policyneeds to focus on ensuring the UK economy benefits accordingly (David Rush, 2016). A recent study showed that the UK connectedcar market would be worth up to £51 billion annually by 2030. The automotive industryand government are engaged in various programmes to support the growth of thesector. Assuming that there is no worldwide economic crisis and the UK was to remain in the EU, the predictions forthe UK automotive sector would remain positive.
The UK automotive industry had yet another reason to closely watch forthe outcome of the EU referendum. Beforethe referendum, ¾ of member of the SMMT which represents the UK motor industrysaid that this was best for the economy. Research showed that the sector is carefully positive, but firms areexpected to have an eye for a long term where continued uncertainty couldimpact investment and growth. As firmscontinue to await further details from Brexit by putting their plans forward, alot lies on the nature of UK future trading relationships. With a focus on Electric cars and driverlesstechnologies, companies are looking to create new growth opportunities byincreasing their investment in research & Design. Technology firms like Google, Apple and Uberare all looking to disturb the market and as such the automotive industry is experiencingone of the biggest transition since the invention of the combustionengine. It’s clear that the cars on ourroads in future will be different from those that we are driving today.
Britishmanufacturers are showing a kind of vision and innovation that will lock theirplace at the heart of the new global automotive industry.