Industry Growth: Automotive
For the last five months UK car production levels have increased consecutively with a jump in overall sales of 9.3 per cent in comparison to July 2011, according to The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Many believe this represents a stabilisation of the market, which in 2011 had had its lowest trading year since 1994.
While demand by UK consumers may not quite be back on track, manufacturers – particularly international suppliers – have recognised the quality and ability of the UK to meet output targets and the envisaged growth to the industry over the next two years.
BMW recently announced a £250m investment into the UK, which will be used to develop manufacturing bases in Swindon, Birmingham and Oxford. Speller Metcalfe has always prided itself on being at the forefront of UK industry developments, and following our recent expansion into the automotive sector, we won the contract to develop an existing warehouse at the Oxford Mini plant, in accordance with BMW’s expansion programme.
Not far behind BMW’s investment comes SAIC Motor’s announcement in August that their MG UK Ltd plant, based in the West Midlands, will become the centre of European manufacturing for the new MG3 Supermini from 2013. In order to meet demand, SAIC are expected to invest capital as part of its multi-billion global investment programme and with it comes the expectation of facility expansion.
As local contractors with the ability to provide key expertise and meet time and cost parameters, Speller Metcalfe welcome such investment to the region which has particularly suffered in 2012.
Over in the public sector, a Government commissioned survey has identified more than £3bn worth of potential investment within the UK automotive supply-chain sectors from international investors. Published in August 2012 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the survey has identified automotive components highly sort after by vehicle manufacturers from the UK due to our high quality output and investment in low carbon products.
The Automotive Council says it will ‘actively pursue’ the £3bn investment potential, as SMMT Chief Executive Paul Everitt stated on smmt.co.uk: “For some of the most highly sought-after components, significant supplier capability already exists in the UK, but for others, continued inward investment is required to ensure that UK suppliers can meet demand.”
Steve Speller, Joint Managing Director at Speller Metcalfe commented, “As demand for new and existing products increases, so will the capability and necessary expansion of facilities, and Speller Metcalfe will be ready to meet these requirements.”
“We are currently working on projects with Bugatti, Arnold Clark and BMW, and already have an enviable portfolio of experience, particularly within sustainable construction and accreditation such as BREEAM and Passivhaus, which correlates with the automotive industry’s actions to lower their carbon footprint. Our experience in high quality, fast-track projects will hold us in good stead as competitors for investment.”