Views on UK car manufacturing: 3 of 3

The concluding article of three on UK car manufacturing looks the the health of the industry, which currently looks buoyant.

On Thursday April 27th 2017, figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders [SMMT], showed exports continued to drive British car manufacturing in March, as demand rose 10.6% in the month. 170,691 cars were built in the UK in March, up 7.3%, with overseas buyers ordering more than 76% of output.

Overseas demand also helped push overall production to a 17-year high in Q1, to 471,695 units – an increase of 7.6%. This helped offset a decline at home, with demand down -4.3% in the quarter. Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

UK car manufacturing is accelerating thanks to billions of pounds of investment committed over the past few years. A large proportion are the latest low emission diesels and it’s essential for future growth and employment that we encourage these newer, cleaner diesels onto UK roads and avoid penalising consumers who choose diesel for its fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. Much of our output goes to Europe and it’s vital we maintain free trade between the UK and EU or we risk destroying this success story.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, also announced that March delivered an all-round high for engine manufacturing  in the UK, as Q1 output surpasses 700,000 for first time.

Some highlights for the UK car manufacturing industry are,

Views on UK car manufacturing: 2 of 3

Following up on the previous article about UK made cars. Here’s the list of such cars. The AA’s list of January this year contains only the volume car manufacturers, while British Built Cars gives a more comprehensive list of 80 manufactures. Here’s the AA’s list, where the first three are British owned manufacturers, while the remainder are all made in Britain. [Photo of 2017 Honda Civic from Wikipedia]

  • Morgan Motor Company Ltd (Aero 8, Plus 8, Roadster, Plus 4, 4/4, 3 wheeler)
  • Caterham Cars Ltd  (Seven)
  • Mclaren Automotive  (570S, 540C, 570GT, 650S, 675LT and P1)
  • MINI – MINI, MINI Clubman and MINI Countryman, in Cowley, Oxford
  • Honda – Civic and CR-V in Swindon
  • Toyota – Auris, Auris hybrid and Avensis in Burnaston, Derbyshire
  • Nissan – Juke, Qashqai, Note and Leaf and Infiniti Q30 in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear
  • Lotus – Elise, Evora and Exige in Norfolk
  • Aston Martin – DB9, Vantage, Rapide, Vanquish, and DB11 in Gaydon, Warwickshire
  • Bentley Motors – Continental, Flying Spur and Mulsanne in Crewe, Cheshire
  • Rolls Royce – Ghost and Wraith in Goodwood, West Sussex
  • Jaguar – F-Pace and XE in Solihull, and F-type, XJ, XF and XE in Castle Bromwich, Birmingham
  • Land Rover – Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque in Halewood, Merseyside, and Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Land Rover Defender in Solihull, West Midlands
  • Vauxhall – Astra at Ellesmere Port and Vivaro van in Luton

Views on UK car manufacturing: 1 of 3

Our household is considering getting a new car. Not a new new one. A pre-owned and pre-loved one – nicer terms than second hand, don’t you think.

Our current cars are both UK-made Honda’s. The least used one is 18 years old [see photo], and the other is now eight years old, on which we’ve been piling on the miles.

We both have had a variety of UK, French and German company and private cars over the years. Our current cars were bought because they were made in the UK, and it’s our money that paid for them. We’re not saying you shouldn’t buy a non-UK made car – your choice, your money. I noted that John Redwood MP attracted criticism for this recent tweet on buying a UK made car,

He replied to the criticism in The Guardian in THIS article on his blog, in which he says, “The Guardian seemed to muddle up cars made in UK factories with cars made by UK owned car makers.”

Government launches its plans for a modern industrial strategy

s300_industrial-strategy-cover2Today the government released a Green Paper – Building Our Industrial Strategy. This is important stuff. Strategic planning is what government’s should do, and, mostly, leave the businesses and entrepreneurs to deliver on the strategy.

I’ve learned, over the years, that readers here have rich and wide experience in many sectors of our economy. I thought, therefore, that it might be worthwhile to provide that Green Paper here – all 132 pages of it.

There’s a one page summary of the Industrial Strategy to be seen HERE.

A little odd thought just crossed my mind about 132 pages. Haven’t other documents I’ve posted here also been 132 pages in length. I wonder, is it something to do with printing – multiples of eight plus 4 pages for the cover. Just a thought.

Whitechapel Bell Foundry to close after 500 years of operation

I’m a bit late with this news, as it was on the 1st December last year that the Whitechapel Bell Foundry announced it was for sale, saying,

Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd announces, with regret, that by May 2017 it will cease its activities at the Whitechapel Road site that it has occupied since its move there in 1738.

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry is the oldest manufacturing company in the country, having been founded in 1570. The current owners are retiring and are selling up. Spitalfields Life has an interview with owner Alan Hughes, who talks about unusually long lead times between an order for a church bell and its delivery. It also has an extensive series of images on the bell foundry.

BBC News also has a brief article on the sale, as does the Daily Telegraph, with a longer piece on the closing of the bell foundry. Click on images to expand.

© Front door image copyright Julian Osley and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Confidence in London undiminished, 38, 62, 73 storey city skyscrapers coming

Readers here will know of my love of skyscraper building in London. It’s been a regular feature since I uncovered a pessimistic BBC article a few years ago on the future of the London skyline.

In my article on this topic in July this year I listed the London and City skyscrapers planned, approved and being built, I’ll not repeat that. In this update on new skyscrapers in the City of London, I simply want to point out that these three new City skyscrapers are surely a testament to the demand for space. The Shard is fully occupied, and that’s not even in the Square Mile. Here are the three

  • 22 Bishopsgate, with 62 storeys and 278m tall.  Now under construction. A somewhat stuttering start after the failure of the Pinnacle building project on the site.
  • The Scalpel, with 38 storeys and 190m tall. Under construction and due for completion in 2017, and eight floor already let. Unusually the building’s sobriquet is retained as the name of the building.
  • 1 Undershaft – referred to as the Trellis, is a recently approved 73 storey skyscraper, and will be the highest in the Square Mile. Just five metres shorter than the Shard. It is reported that it will be home to an estimated 10,000 workers.

New high-rise towers and skyscrapers a-plenty in London & elsewhere

While Liverpool and Newcastle will likely be getting new high-rise towers, it’s London that’s getting high-rise towers and skyscrapers a-plenty. A skyscraper being defined as being 30 or more storeys.

Adjacent to Waterloo Station is the redevelopment of the Shell Centre. I’ve watched the site develop over the last year or so. Visiting the area at the beginning of the month, it was the number of building cranes that impressed. The site titled, unadventurously, as Southbank Place will provide much needed public space near the London Eye, which being a tourist hotspot has become unattractive with the sheer mass of visitors to the Eye, London Dungeon, Sea Life Aquarium, and other attractions.

You can see changes to the area in the developers website. Their vision is shown below, and my photos below that.

southbank-place