Earlier on in the month we reported that British cars came out on top of a customer satisfaction survey by What Car?, with Jaguar knocking Lexus down to second place after an 11 year stint at the top.
It is now being reported that increasing demand for British brands in countries such as China are bringing UK car plants run by Jaguar, Land Rover and other brands like BMW and Nissan to full capacity. Managing Director of BMW’s UK operations Tim Abbott believes that if this trend continues Britain will be producing more cars than France as early as 2018:
“All the indications appear to be saying Britain will be second in a few years… It will be about the demand for the cars made in the UK but that looks to be there judging by the recent performance of the likes of Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and BMW.”
European industry leader Germany produced 5.5 million vehicles last year, but France made just 1.9 million due to slowing sales for its major brands PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault. Demand for new vehicles in Europe fell to a 17-year low in 2012 as the effects of the continuing recession are still felt across the continent.
By contrast, demand domestically for British cars grew in May 2013 and sales have jumped year-to-date to 948,666 units – beating pre-recession levels. In fact, the industry has recorded 15 consecutive months of growth now, helped in large part by demand from emerging markets.
China is now Jaguar Land Rover’s largest market, a fact that has prompted the company to build a factory there which now produces 130,000 vehicles a year.
As the SMMT have said: ‘With government support and vehicle manufacturers investing billions in UK plants, the prospects are very good.”