PricewaterhouseCoopers forecasts continuing UK auto “renaissance”
PricewaterhouseCoopers Automotive partner Phil Harrold has forecast a continuing “renaissance” for the British automotive industry. The analyst suggests the next five years will see the sector improve its workforce’s skills base following recent investments by major brands such as Toyota, and rises in new car registrations. Harrold commented after the firm’s auto analyst arm, Autofacts, predicted global production figures would top 83.19 million in 2013 up from 79.1 million this year.
Harrold said: “The recent investments into British car production should secure the renaissance for at least five years. By then, I would expect to see an enhanced skills base and workforce which together with our established R&D capabilities and supply chain strength, should ensure our success continues. However, as we have seen from the last five years of recession – nothing in business and the economy are certain.”
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reported a 12.1% (151,250) rise in new UK car registrations in October, with the new Toyota Auris rolling off the production line in Derby. In May, Vauxhall confirmed an investment of £125m into its Ellesmere Port facility, where the new Astra will be manufactured. The new car market increased by five per cent over the year to date with more than 1.7m cars sold; nearly 84,000 more than a year ago.
Harrold added: “British engineering and car manufacturing does have a bright future. With investments by GM, BMW and Nissan in their UK production plants, and now Toyota, this shows the world is backing the UK as a base for automotive manufacturing.
“This is an interesting contrast with Japan, where the strength of the Yen will potentially force the Japanese car makers to consider further relocation of production capacity. In addition Japanese car manufacturers are seeing big reductions in volumes in what has traditionally been one of their biggest growth markets.”