UK car output and sales have both taken some serious knocks over the last few months, caused by a perfect storm of factors: Diesel models falling out of favour with the public; demand from China declining; and, you guessed it, uncertainty over Brexit. But while there are certain crucial matters to resolve (like whether or not the UK, moving forward, will be in a customs union with the EU), there are some solid reasons to be positive about the UK car industry. Here are seven of the most convincing...
- A recent report suggests Britain's chemical industry is well placed supply components for the manufacture of electric car batteries - chiefly anodes, cathodes and electrolytes. The report by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) said there is a “strong foundation of UK-based companies are already embedded within many global battery supply chains”. The UK is the best location in the world to develop autonomous vehicles, according to a report released last month. The industry could boost the UK economy by £62bn. It should be noted, however, the report was created by the UK motor industry lobby group, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
- UK car sales fell by 3.4% in March, which sounds bad, until you discover sales in Western Europe fell by 3.7% - suggesting that it's not just Britain's car industry facing challenges.
- After years of rises, the average cost of UK car insurance fell by 1 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, according to a survey compiled by Willis Towers Watson.
- Suggesting the UK is a world leader in sustainable car manufacturing, Bentley recently opened a new car port at its Crewe headquarters - one that is completely covered in solar panels.
- In March, Toyota revealed it would build a new model at its Burnaston plant in Derbyshire. The car will be made for Suzuki and based on the Toyota Corolla.
- Aston Martin recently revealed it now sources 55% of its parts in the UK, up from 29% in 2017, in an effort to secure its component supplies after the UK leaves the EU. It appears to be one of the few positive outcomes of Brexit for the UK car sector...