Checking a handcrafted dashboard insert in Bentleys wood shop at Crewe

Checking a handcrafted dashboard insert in Bentley's wood shop at Crewe

Vehicle production plans for OEMs with facilities in the UK should take UK vehicle production over 2m units a year later this decade with big opportunities for local component suppliers, an analyst has told just-auto.

Total vehicle output increased 8% last year to 1.58m units, the highest level since 2008. Ian Henry, director of AutoAnalysis, speaking at the SMMT International Automotive Summit, said that a number of OEMs are showing a substantial commitment to increase UK production, most notably Nissan and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR). 

“The substantial growth plans of JLR, expansion at Nissan and the commitment to their UK operations by Mini, GM, Toyota and indeed Honda means that it is entirely realistic to expect UK vehicle production to reach 2m a year within 5-6 years,” Henry said.

He also highlighted the opportunities ahead for local suppliers. “In addition to the growth in vehicle production, there will be a significant increase in component sourcing for the UK car plants,” he said. 

“There are also problems with long distance supply chains, which can be too easily interrupted by natural disasters. Also, the OEMs have an increased need for sequenced JIT deliveries and a wish to improve the environmental impact of the industry. These factors all combine to make localised component sourcing attractive for UK vehicle manufacturers.”

Robert Johnson, purchasing director at Jaguar Land Rover, also told conference delegates that his company has ambitious plans to grow production and wants to increase sourcing in the UK. “It makes very good business sense for us to bring our suppliers with us as we expand production,” he said.