New car sales drive £70bn all-time high turnover

The boom in the UK automotive industry hit a record turnover of nearly £70 billion last year, an all-time high according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Sales of new cars and an increase in manufacturing output, jobs and export values have all driven forward the turnover, which clocks in at £69.5 billion, while environment impact has been dramatically reduced.

These figures confirm an upward trend for new vehicle demand, with almost 1.6 million new vehicles built in 2014, the highest level since 2007, and huge gains in productivity.

Increase in manufacturing

International demand for British-built cars is also on the increase, with the SMMT estimating that it contributed as much as £15.5 billion to the British economy last year alone.

Mike Hawkes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: “The UK automotive industry can be proud of its achievements as it continues to set new standards. The sector is delivering growth in volumes, turnover and employment, while reducing its environmental impact.

“Continuing to expand in a fiercely competitive global market is a major challenge and will depend on a supportive economic and regulatory environment which promotes investment to foster innovation and continuing productivity improvements.”

According to the SMMT, despite the greater production volumes, the impact on the environment has been significantly cut, with landfill waste slashed by more than a quarter last year alone.

Rising demand for British-built cars

Since 2000, the amount of waste sent to landfill sites from automotive manufacturing has dropped by an incredible 92.3 per cent, while water and energy use both fell by around 11 per cent each last year.

Not only that, but the industry has made considerable improvements for employee safety, with the number of accidents per 1,000 employees at an all-time low of just 2.2 on average.

Large investments are still being made in order to expand production facilities in the UK, with an additional 27,000 jobs in the industry created last year, a 3.5 per cent increase over 2013.

Nearly 800,000 automotive employees

The data states that the amount of people employed in the automotive industry now stands at a huge 799,000, with the average employee generating £440,000 in turnover for the sector.

Skills investment is also on the rise, with employee training up by more than a third and as many as 500 new apprentices and trainees taken on by the industry in the past year.

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