UK AUTOMOTIVE: North West drives 20,000 jobs and £2.8 billion invested in the region by global brands since 2021


New analysis reveals importance of North West to UK Automotive, responsible for 20,000 jobs with £2.8 billion invested by global brands in region since 2021.

Bosses from some of the UK’s biggest advanced automotive manufacturers and suppliers came together this week for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) Regional Forum, held in Liverpool for the first time.

Hosted at Rum Warehouse, the event explored how manufacturers can benefit from the shift to zero emission mobility and secure new business to drive jobs and growth across the North West.

A hotspot for automotive production for more than a century, some £2.8 billion has been invested in the region since 2021, helping transform factories from making combustion engines to electric vehicles and components. Massive commitments have come from global brands including Bentley, Ford, JLR, and Stellantis and today the region is home to the UK’s largest all-electric manufacturing plant at Ellesmere Port, with transformations at factories in Halewood and Crewe well underway.

The region benefits from a strategic location with ready access to ports and a significant local talent pool on which to draw. New SMMT analysis reveals the importance of the North West to UK automotive manufacturing with firms in the area directly responsible for some 20,000 jobs, supporting 1 in 7 UK automotive workers and producing 1 in 7 vehicles made in the country last year, equivalent to more than 140,000 units.

With suppliers, engineering firms, research institutions and many more organisations in adjacent sectors from hospitality to logistics, freight and shipping all depending on the auto sector, a successful North West industry not only directly supports jobs and livelihoods across the region, but, given most vehicles built in the area are for export, it also powers the wider UK economy.

Speaking ahead of the event, Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, 

“With the North West’s rich automotive manufacturing heritage and pivotal role in the UK’s zero emission transport revolution, we’re delighted to bring SMMT Regional Forum to one of its many iconic cities.

“Global manufacturers have invested massive sums in the region, transforming their plants to EV production, which is testament to the competitiveness and productivity of the North West.

“No region can rest on its laurels in such a globally competitive environment, however, which is why the SMMT event will focus on the measures needed to attract further investment into the region and create new business opportunities for the many innovative companies in the North West.”

The SMMT Regional Forum agenda saw two jam-packed sessions with industry leaders including Andreas Lehe, Board Member for Manufacturing, Bentley Motors; Lee Meyers, Plant Manager, Ford; Trevor Leeks, Operations Director, JLR; Peter Ahrens, Managing Director, Leyland Trucks and Diane Miller, Plant Director, Stellantis, delivering their industry insights They will join DHL, Adient and Invest Liverpool to identify the best ways to exploit the region’s undoubted competitive advantages to drive further investment and growth.

Representing more than 800 automotive companies in the UK across production, sales, supply chain and aftermarket, SMMT provides a forum for members to voice their views on issues affecting them, helping firms grow their businesses to become more profitable, competitive and sustainable. SMMT holds major events throughout the year, including SMMT Summit and Electrified, alongside regional events across the UK. Members benefit from free event access and enjoy other exclusive benefits, including access to industry data, webinars and intelligence not available elsewhere.

Source: SMMT


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