Competing car-makers got together for a special send-off ahead of the Frankfurt International Motor Show showcasing their wares in an unusual demonstration of unity.
The gathering in Greenwich, London, saw senior executives from across the industry joined by Business Secretary Sajid Javid alongside a line-up ten British-built cars.
Vehicles from the broad spectrum of Britain’s automotive industry were on display, from volume-produced family hatchbacks to high-end luxury and sports models.
Manufacturers represented included Vauxhall, Aston Martin, Honda, Toyota, Bentley, Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar, Nissan and MINI.
Each car made in the UK represents hefty investment in automotive R&D capability and production facilities in a sector which has outstripped UK manufacturing as a whole when it comes to growth.
This year alone investment has topped £2 billion and more than 4,500 new jobs have been created.
The UK automotive sector is now one of the most advanced in the world and global appetite for high-quality British-built cars has never been stronger, with exports to more than 100 countries.
Demand across Europe – the UK’s biggest export market – grew more than ten per cent last year, and overall car exports were worth £24.6 billion in 2014 – the most ever.
The first six months of this year saw more cars produced in the UK than in any half-year since 2008, with a vehicle rolling off an assembly line every 20 seconds.
The automotive industry’s contribution to the UK economy is also growing - it now supports almost 800,000 jobs across the country – around 160,000 of which are in manufacturing – while the sector now makes up a greater share of overall UK exports than ever before at 11.8 per cent. Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: “The UK automotive industry’s resurgence continues and this diverse range of British-built cars which will premiere in Frankfurt clearly demonstrates the strength of UK automotive.
“From Goodwood to Sunderland, Llanelli to Falkirk, the automotive industry supports some 800,000 highly skilled jobs making world class products of which Britain can be justifiably proud.”
Business Secretary Sajid Javid added: “The automotive industry is a UK success story with government and industry working closely to boost productivity and growth.
“Not only do we build cars extremely well, but our research and development and design capabilities are equally as impressive. Together we are shaping a 21st century sector that is going from strength to strength.”
Joe Greenwell, CEO, Automotive Investment Organisation, said: “The level of foreign investment we received this year demonstrates the confidence in the UK automotive sector.
“The companies here are global automotive leaders who chose the UK due to our leading productivity figures and low costs, cutting-edge R&D base as well as an unprecedented demand for our products both at home and overseas.
“The stars are uniquely aligned for the UK automotive industry and we should be proud that the sector is leading a resurgence in UK manufacturing.”