UK: Car makers mostly optimistic about future

By just-auto.com editorial team | 27 November 2003

The future looks bright for the British motor industry - according to the people who run it. A survey of 80 UK car and component manufacturers carried out by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), revealed that two thirds believe their prospects for next year and further into the future are good while 70% are bullish that they will stay competitive with the rest of Europe.

The good news was tempered with significant concerns over increasing government 'red tape' and a failing national transport infrastructure while more than half of those surveyed said they were concerned that trade union militancy was on the increase in the United Kingdom.

Speaking at the SMMT annual dinner, president Tod Evans, who also heads PSA Peugeot Citroën Group's London office, said the UK industry was concerned about the declining transport infrastructure and representations would be made to the government.

He added that another chief concern was the problem in recruiting suitably skilled employees while the globalisation of the industry was seen as a threat, with the Asia-Pacific region manufacturers being cited as a particularly strong competitor in the future.

"UK production volumes so far this year are looking good with total production up on last year with cars doing particularly well, up 6% year-to-date. Export figures look strong and will bring in just under £20 billion to the UK economy by year end."

- Interchange News Agency