A new report from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said that more internet-enabled cars and autonomous technology could present “significant opportunities for British component suppliers in the coming years”.
They also said that boosts to the automotive supply chain could create 28,000 new UK jobs in the sector by 2020. The news has been well received by those in the automotive industries, including in the commercial vehicle sector.
Huge opportunities for British suppliers
The report, titled ‘The future of UK automotive manufacturing in 2025 and beyond,’ estimates that British car production could reach as many as two million vehicles annually by the end of the decade. This record number represents a 33% increase on the 1.5 million cars Britain produces today.
This increased production will create an extra 9,500 jobs in the vehicle manufacturing plants and could lead to as many as 28,000 new jobs created in the wider economy.
Britain’s strong position in the automotive supply chain
The report notes how Britain is strong in particular areas of the automotive supply chain. It suggests that capability and expertise is particularly strong in the areas required for creating connected and autonomous vehicles.
A number of the ‘wider economy’ jobs highlighted above will be created in technology companies and component suppliers which will work with automotive manufacturers to develop things like motorway autopilots, traffic jam assistants, remote parkers and automated urban driving systems.
Other strengths in the UK supply chain include:
- Strong government support
- One of the highest levels of FDI in Europe
- Access to and availability of materials. In particular ‘new’ materials like graphene.
- Proven history of automotive design and production
- Competitive motorsport engineering sector with the potential for technology transfer
- Full vehicle and engine development capability
Mike Hawes, Chief Executive at SMMT said: “The recovery of the UK automotive supply chain is gathering pace, and this new report shows that the opportunities for further growth and development will be plentiful in the coming years, particularly as the drive towards fully connected and autonomous vehicle technologies accelerates.”
James Bulmer, Key Account Manager at Ecodrive said: “This report has clearly been welcomed wholeheartedly by the automotive industry. It also represents good news for the wider supply chain including those involved in the commercial vehicle sector. I hope that through continued government and foreign direct investment we’ll be able to create an even more dynamic automotive industry in the UK.”