Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

UK Car Makers Going for Gold

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

UK Car Makers Going for Gold

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS RUSSON

THIS is Britain's Olympic year and the nation's car makers are on course to strike gold by bucking the economic trend.

Soaraway successes such as the Range Rover Evoque and the stunning looks of the Jaguar C-X16 are proof that we can still produce world beaters.

Our auto industry has shifted into top gear, creating thousands of jobs at a time when much of the economy is in the doldrums. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders is now suggesting that UK automotive manufacturing is poised to hit an all time high. The SMMT describes 2011 as a step change year with more than pounds 4bn being invested in Britain by vehicle manufacturers.

More than 700,000 people now depend on the motor trade for their livelihoods and the industry itself accounts for more than 10% of all British exports, adding some pounds 25bn a year to the economy.

"2011 has been a very significant year for the UK motor industry," said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive. "We have seen a remarkable series of investment announcements by global vehicle manufacturers with a total of pounds 4bn of investment promised for the UK, securing new model programmes, production facilities and jobs.

"Despite the uncertainty within the Eurozone, these decisions demonstrate real confidence in the future of UK manufacturing and its role within a rebalanced economy." In the past few weeks alone Toyota has announced 1,500 new jobs at its factory in Burnaston in Derbyshire and Honda has added 500 to the workforce at its Swindon plant to build the new Civic.

The new Evoque brought 3,000 extra jobs to Merseyside while Land Rover also announced a new engine plant in the Midlands with 750 jobs in the pipeline.

Britain is home to 11 major car makers producing more than a million vehicles a year - 75% of them being exported. …

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