UK manufacturing sector heading for a period of expansion

Updated: 
UK manufacturing heading to a period of expansion
The UK's automotive manufacturing sector is heading for a period of expansion, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Nine per cent growth per year is predicted – which should bring output back up to pre-recession levels, and mean 2.2 million vehicles could be produced in our country by 2016.

While this predicted rise sounds rosy, the report also warned about the dangers of complacency – with smaller, vital suppliers likely to have problems keeping up.

Around 80 per cent of required parts can be sourced from the UK at the moment, but the smaller businesses involved in producing them may not be able to expand at the same rate - thanks to reluctant banks refusing funding applications.

"They need the right mix of government support and private investment," said Paul Everitt, chief executive of the SMMT.

"With robust global markets and a diverse mix of models produced here, we are more resilient than other countries to eurozone weakness, a key factor in encouraging businesses to invest in the UK."

Business minister Michael Fallon indicated that the government was looking into the potential issues. "We have a good track record with global vehicle manufacturers, who have invested £6 billion in UK projects over the last two years," he said.

"Government and industry are working together to make sure our supply chain companies exploit the £3 billion of opportunities that have been identified by the Automotive Council."