Blog: Labour costs in car manufacturing – just how important are they?
Dave Leggett | 2 May 2012
How do costs compare between a car manufacturing plant in the UK and a plant in Turkey? Earlier this week I got the opportunity to put that question to Tony Walker, Deputy Managing Director, Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK. His answer surprised me. He said that much of the cost of manufacturing is down to parts and logistics. Okay...and labour at the assembly plant? He put that at just 6-8%. I must say I thought it would be a larger proportion than that. Making the C-segment sedan in Turkey for shipment to markets in southern/southeastern Europe therefore makes sense. And Burnaston serves as the manufacturing plant for the higher spec C-segment hatch that mainly sells in northern Europe; no big incentive to go for lower labour costs there on the basis of that kind of percentage.
There's an interesting difference between Toyota and Nissan in their respective UK plant strategies. Nissan uses Sunderland for nichey models like Qashqai and Juke (Leaf from next year). It now brings in the Micra for Europe from India (where, presumably, labour costs and parts costs are significantly lower than in Europe – sufficient to more than compensate for the EU tariff and shipping costs). Toyota on the other hand is using its UK plant for more mainstream cars.
Except that Nissan is now going to make a C-seg hatchback (Invitation-based) for Europe in Sunderland as well...
- COMMENT: Foreign OEMs chose appeasement in China
- COMMENT: 'Showing instruments' in West stand off?
- Briefing: Emerging markets in trouble (2)
- VEHICLE ANALYSIS: Citroën DS4
- Briefing: Emerging markets in trouble (3)
- Volvo finally takes covers off redesigned XC90
- SWEDEN: NEVS/Saab enters administration
- Volvo to skip all-aluminium for carbon fibre
- Kia to build new plant for American markets
- SWEDEN: Redesign moves XC90 up market in UK
- New Engines Aiming for 60% Thermal Efficiency Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Rising to the Post-HEV Challenge
- Jaguar Land Rover: Providing remarkable growth throughout the economic downturn
- Tesla: The Californian start-up that made head way on the automotive giants
- Global Charging Equipment for EV Market 2014-2018
- Global light vehicle OE exhaust & emissions aftertreatment systems - forecasts to 2029