The past decade has seen our economy fluctuate greatly, however statistics have recently revealed that we are back to our pre-economic crisis climatic state. The Office for the National Statistics (ONS) has shown that Britain’s economy has expanded by 0.8% in the first quarter of this year and at an average high of 3.1% bigger than the same period last year.
One factor which has been seen to contribute to the recovery of Britain’s economy is the automotive industry, and British car companies have been at the forefront of this regeneration. Consumer spending greatly drives growth, and despite a fall in the manufacturing side of things from 2006-2012, the overall expenditure expanded, and by 2013 more people than ever were buying British-manufactured cars. The ONS said that the service Industry was the only industry to be bigger now than it was before the crisis. Chancellor George Osborne said: “Thanks to the hard work of the British people, today we reach a major milestone in our long-term economic plan.”
“The economy is currently bigger than its previous peak in 2008 but still has a long way to go. The Great Recession was one of the deepest of any major economy and cost the UK six years.”
British car manufacturing returns to pre-recession levels
Last year, British car manufacturing hit a six year high, rising 3.1% to over 1.5million vehicles, the highest volume since the recession began 2007. 2,264,737 new cars were registered in 2013, up a staggering 10.8% on 2012. The British car market has been firmly secured as Europe’s second largest, and is the only one to grow consistently throughout the year.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive said: “With its best year since a pre-recession 2007, the UK car market has helped stimulate the country’s economic recovery. While the European market is only now showing signs of improvement, the UK has consistently outperformed the rest of Europe with 22 consecutive months of growth. The 10.8% increase in 2013 reflected the attractive financial offers available, as well as increased demand for more technologically advanced new cars. We expect new car registrations to remain stable in 2014 as customers return to a more regular replacement cycle.”
Jaguar Land Rover investing in the future
One company which is feeling the benefits of the booming industry is Jaguar Land Rover, having made it through the recession and come out the other side stronger than ever. Recent demand for its smart 4x4s and investment in new factories has prompted an unprecedented recruitment drive, with JLR employing over 11,000 workers in the past 3 years. Pre-tax profits last year reached £2.5bn as it watched sales total up to 434,311, pushing revenue up to £19.4bn. These sales are a far cry from the darker days of 2009 which saw a less than optimistic future. 2009 saw the financial crisis force consumers to freeze big money purchases such as new cars, and the outlook of JLR was so grim that plans were well advanced to close one of their three British car plants. Instead, Tata group – the Indian conglomerate who bought JLR from Ford in 2008 – decided to take a gamble and invest heavily. This ended up reaping huge benefits, and saw their fortunes turn right around to the success they are experiencing today.
In a further testament to how the motor industry helped to heave the UK out of recession, over 2% of the UK’s 30 million workers are employed within the umbrella of the motor industry. Figures also suggest that on current performance two million cars a year will be made in Britain by 2017, crushing a record that has stood since 1972.
With the UK motor manufacturing industry becoming bigger and better than ever before, it is no surprise that new British car manufacturers are starting to enter the scene. None is more exciting than Ant-Kahn, a new and dynamic company dedicated to British manufacturing and to the creation of hand-built motor cars. The company is the fusion of the different skillsets of car fanatics Afzal Kahn, Principal Designer of his own Kahn group of companies and Ant Anstead, vehicle engineering and manufacturing expert. Their highly sought after cars follow in the footsteps of the pioneers of the modern age and aim to maintain Britain’s place in the forefront of the world of manufacturing innovation. Many greatly value British cars and their qualities, so this company will hopefully thrive on this appeal.