In April 2015, when the North America CEO of BMW Ludwig Willisch said, “With the introduction of every new model, there will be a plug-in hybrid version of that, too”, the automotive world sat up and took notice. It was a clear and strong indication of the need for further technological innovation among car manufacturers and a subject that has dominated headlines since.
Much of the spotlight has been shone on the larger vehicle OEMs, with the more specialised manufacturers going under the radar despite boasting strong brands, enviable motorsport pedigree and the development of world-class innovation in new technologies. A recent report from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders highlights the importance of UK specialised car manufacturers to the wider automotive industry. In particular, the access to a highly specialised and skilled workforce and the development of innovative technologies – these specialist car manufacturers are at the leading edge of product design and innovation in the following verticals:
3.Turbo-charging and engine downsizing
5.Engine valve actuation
6.Hybridisation and electrification
Despite its excellence, the future success of the UK’s specialised car manufacturing services is dependent on the UK’s relationship with the EU in a post-Brexit world. The industry therefore needs strong political leadership that continues to deliver a competitive environment and the ability to continue advancements in light-weighting, as well as aerodynamics and powertrain electrification.
“The UK’s specialist, low volume car manufacturing industry is set to enjoy a 60% production boost by 2020, thanks to increasing global demand, according to new analysis published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The UK Specialist Car Manufacturers Report 2017 confirms Britain is home to the largest and most diverse specialist car manufacturing sector in the world, with some of the most globally recognised and iconic brands. The sector is a global leader in engineering, design and craftsmanship, producing a wide range of cutting-edge products, from high performance sports cars, luxury grand tourers and SUVs, to electric taxis and wheelchair accessible vehicles.”