Up to 28,000 new jobs could be created in the UK automotive supply chain by 2020, The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has forecast in its report “The future of UK automotive manufacturing in 2025 and beyond”.
It identifies growth in vehicle manufacturing and a move to connected and autonomous technology as presenting significant opportunities for British component suppliers in the coming years. It estimates that British car production is set to reach a record two million vehicles a year by 2020 – a 33 per cent increase on the current 1.5 million.
Achieving this would require an additional 9,500 employees at vehicle manufacturers in the UK – and almost three times the number of workers at the component companies that supply them.
The SMMT points out that huge investments have recently been committed by vehicle manufacturers and component suppliers alike – with more than £2 billion announced in 2015 alone.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief Mike Hawes 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. A strong domestic supply chain is crucial to the success of the industry as a whole, and crucial to attracting new inward investment, so it is critical that the support from government-industry partnerships we have enjoyed in recent years continues to ensure the sector is able to realise its full potential.”
Automotive Council figures released in September show that 41 per cent of the average UK-built vehicle is now locally-sourced – up from 36 per cent in 2011. With up to 80 per cent of the components that go into a car capable of being produced here, the potential for supply chain growth has been pegged at some £4 billion.
The Automotive Council-initiated Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative, Regional Growth Fund and National Tooling Fund have helped to finance the expansion of many companies, enabling them to meet increasing demand from British car makers for locally-sourced components.