The UK, infamous for having lost most of its former automaking glory, and supplier of the short-lived “American Leyland” moniker for GM (“Government Motors” stuck) is roaring back. The island nation is set “to overtake France as Europe’s second largest automotive producer within the next five years if UK car sales and exports maintain current strong growth,” Reuters says.
Imagine the embarrassment in Paris!
“All the indications appear to be saying yes Britain will be second in a few years,” Tim Abbott, managing director of German carmaker BMW’s UK operations told the wire service. “It will be about the demand for the cars made in the UK but that looks to be there judging by the recent performance of the likes of Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and BMW.”
Last year 1.5 million cars were produced in Britain, compared to 1.9 million in France, according to ACEA data.. Volumes are slipping France, and is rising at Britain’s eight main car plants. Britain could hit 2 million by 2018. Europe’s biggest producer, Germany, made 5.5 million vehicles last year, about half of them exported.