Data from the World Markets European Research Centre (WMRC) shows Nissan's Sunderland plant was the most productive in Europe, producing an average of 95 vehicles per equivalent employee. Average European labour productivity is 58.28.
Second and third place goes to Ford's Saarlouis plant in Germany and Toyota's Burnston in the UK. Both produced 87 units per employee. The biggest improvement was made at Honda's Swindon plant, where average productivity was up 17.5 per cent to 67 units per employee. Its output levels are quickly rising as the second manufacturing line comes on stream.
James Durance, head of automotive research at WMRC, says productivity will slip this year before rising again in 2003 and 2004.
“Vehicle manufacturers are attempting to rise to the twin challenges of meeting increased demand for higher specification and better quality products, and of driving up plant productivity by simplifying and improving their manufacturing techniques,” he says.