A Sudden Spurt in the Motor Industry

M Sandford - December 2011
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Almost a fortnight ago, Toyota announced much to everyone's surprise that another 1500 jobs would be created at the Burnaston factory in Derbyshire. This will happen over the next 2 years and occurs due to a 100million investment in the plant. Toyota is designing a new hatchback model which will be built at Burnaston. The vehicle is intended to compete against the Ford Focus and the Volkswagen Golf. About 3100 staff currently work at Burnaston currently building the Auris and Avensis models.

This follows on from a major announcement by Jaguar Land Rover that another 1000 jobs will be created at its Solihull plant again as part of a huge investment to position the company for the future. Jaguar is now owned by the Tata conglomerate who bought the company from Ford. The firm is well known for its upmarket range which includes such vehicles such as Range Rover.

It might also shock some to know that car production in the UK is recovering despite the current economic climate due to ongoing export demand. Total car production will hit about 1.5 million this year possibly rising to 1.6 million next year with luck. This is crucial not just for the assembly plants but also the supply chain involved too. As mentioned in previous editions, the motor industry has become a major export earner for this country in stark contrast to decades ago when it became a byword for bad jokes.

Jaguar Land Rover is also building a new engine plant outside Wolverhampton that should also secure another 700 jobs at least. This represents further investment and has been welcomed by all industry pundits. Engine output in this country is also shooting up and has increased by 5.7% over the first 10 months of 2010.

In recent editions, there has been debate about growth or the lack of it, aside from whether or not the government's policy is working. Many are not convinced that it is, given the gloomy prognosis from the Chancellor's Autumn Statement which did not make riveting reading. He has been forced to admit that his deficit reduction plan will not wipe out the structural deficit by the end of this Parliament. Also it came out that job losses in the public sector are liable to total over 700000 not the 400000 originally forecast.

When will politicians realise that only inward investment in productive capacity will generate the wealth and the jobs for the future. There can be no substitute for added value created by manufacturing and the success story at Toyota needs to be repeated a thousand times across the country. Historically speaking the nation has been reliant on a manufacturing economy to pay for necessary items that we are unable to produce in sufficient quantity ourselves, such as energy. That will never change.

(www.newsroom.jaguarlandrover.com) or (www.bbc.co.uk/news)

Mark Sandford - Permission granted to freely distribute this article for non-commercial purposes if attributed to Mark Sandford, unedited and copied in full, including this notice.

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