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UK automotive manufacturing in rude health, says SMMT

The UK automotive industry created 44,000 new jobs in 2013 and domestic automotive manufacturing turnover grew by 10.3% to top £64 billion, according to a new report by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Key indicators in the trade body's 15thannual Automotive Sustainability Report show significant improvements that tally with recent growth, investment and efforts to improve environmental performance by the UK's vehicle and component manufacturers.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The UK automotive industry contributes hugely to the country's economic health by building millions of vehicles, engines and components here every year and employing hundreds of thousands of people.

"The progress made by the industry over the past year alone is hugely important. Growing our skills base and encouraging more automotive suppliers to base their businesses in the UK is now essential for us to maintain this positive momentum."

Industry analysts suggest that by 2017 the UK could be building more than two million cars a year, breaking the record that has stood for more than 40 years.

Hawes said the growth would put car manufacturers under pressure to recruit and up-skill more staff.

Other challenges come with the forecast growth. Supplier capacity can be called into question, so re-shoring more component providers is a vital aspect highlighted in the latest report.

In terms of environmental performance, the Sustainability Report highlights major reductions in CO2 output and waste sent to landfill by manufacturing sites.

Carmakers in the UK have cut landfill volumes by 91.3% over a 15 year period with 3.5kg per vehicle now ending up as landfill waste.


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