The European Commission published a report in 2005 which reveals that the EU is the world’s leading automotive manufacturing region. The report states that almost 34 percent of vehicles in the world are manufactured in Europe. The EU has a share of 7.6 percent in the manufacturing sector. Its automotive industry offers direct employment to more than two million people. Indirect employment is provided to over 10 million people. The big names in the European automotive industry are Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari, Jaguar and Lamborghini.
In the UK Automotive Industry is worth over £10 billion annually, the UK’s automotive sector is diverse, vibrant and world class. Home to some of the most productive vehicle plants in the world, it produces more than 1 million cars and commercial vehicles and over 2 million engines a year.
Eleven of the world’s volume vehicle manufacturers have a UK presence, and with automotive one of the leading manufactured exports from the UK, accounting for 11% of UK manufactured exports, the UK is a proven, experienced and successful export platform. The UK is also Europe’s third biggest automotive market, buying more than 2 million new cars in 2010, over 50% bought by fleets or businesses.
The Nissan and Toyota plants in Sunderland and Derbyshire respectively are two of the most productive plants in Europe, and are recognised by the manufacturers as amongst their most efficient plants worldwide. The UK is home to the largest number of specialist sports car manufactures in the world including Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar, Lotus, McLaren, MG, Rolls-Royce and Morgan – names which speak of the UK’s rich heritage in automotive design and development.
Eight Formula One teams are based in the UK, supported by more than 300 specialist motorsport companies, employing nearly 50,000 people.
These are the set of forces currently shaping the automotive industry are strong, and VMs and suppliers must position themselves flexibly and opportunistically in order to succeed.
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