Understanding the Automotive Sector
The automotive sector is a vital part of the UK economy.
Automotive manufacturing employs more than 182,00 people in the UK. The wider automotive industry employs 780,000 people.
From the total number of motor vehicle manufacturing companies based in the United Kingdom in 2022, the majority were businesses that employed fewer than five people. Motor vehicle manufacturers that employed between five and nine people amounted to 450 companies, while there were just 80 companies that employed 250 people or more.
The industry accounts for 10% of total UK exports, with more than 150 separate countries importing UK produced automotive vehicles.
These exports account for £77 billion worth of annual trade for the UK automotive industry.
For the UK economy, the automotive manufacturing sector contributes £67 billion of revenue. Each year, automotive product designers and manufacturers spend approximately £3 billion on Research and Development (R&D) activities.
There are over 30 UK based manufacturers who build more than 70 models of vehicles in the UK. These manufacturers are supported by around 2,500 automotive component providers. Some of the world’s most skilled automotive engineers contribute to this effort.
This total annual output accounts for around 859,000 cars, 72,900 commercial vehicles, and over 1.5 million engines in the UK.
There are over 40 million vehicles on UK roads. More than 1.6 million of these are new vehicles which are registered each year.
Over the past several years there has been a shift towards producing vehicles and components which are increasingly environmentally-friendly. These vehicles have been manufactured in such a manner as to reduce fuel consumption, increase efficiency, and minimise carbon footprint.
The challenge for manufacturers of automotive components has been to continue to produce high quality components within competitive lead times and at low costs, whilst at the same time finding green-friendly manufacturing solutions to complex problems.
To achieve these objectives, much effort is made by automotive manufacturers to ensure that the right materials for the job are sourced, and that the manufacturing process is as sustainable and ethically responsible as possible.
Lightweight, durable, and highly resilient plastic polymers and materials are now preferred, in order to have high functionality and reliability, whilst at the same time increasing fuel efficiency.