UK car production at highest levels in 10 years

Figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that UK car production hit a record 10-year high in 2015.

The SMMT said a record number of vehicles were exported last year, as the European car markets showed signs of recovery.

Car output rose by nearly 4% in 2015, with a total of 1.6 million cars being manufactured in Britain, and nearly 80% of those being shipped abroad [1].

The demand for UK-built cars such as Mini and Jaguar Land Rover, increased by 11% in 2015 [2].

The rise in consumers opting for British-built cars could be due to the Volkswagen emissions scandal, pushing the demand on to our factories.

SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawkes, said: “Europe is our biggest trading partner, and the UK’s membership of the European Union is vital for the automotive sector in order to secure future growth and jobs” [3].

This puts into question the possibility of a Brexit referendum later this year, posing risks for vehicle manufacturing in the UK.

Paul Newton, Director of Industry and Market Intelligence for HIS Automotive said: “The UK leaving the EU is the biggest threat to the sector. The EU is by far our biggest export market, and leaving it would have a massive impact, with the possible end of free-trade agreements” [4].


[1] Sky News. ‘UK car productions accelerates to 10-year high’.

[2] BBC News. ‘UK car manufacturing hits 10-year high in 2015’.

[3] IB Times. ‘British car production hit 10-year high in 2015’.

[4] The Telegraph. ‘Brexit could send UK’s surging auto sector into reverse’.