For the first time since 1966, the United Kingdom’s automobile industry will likely build more cars than those built in France. Increasing domestic and export sales are expected to make 2013 a record year for car manufacturing, putting Great Britain in third place among car producing countries in Europe, behind Germany and Spain. UK car production is estimated to reach 1.55 million units, up from 1.47 million the previous year and 1.35 million in 2011. In contrast, French car production for 2013 is expected to fall to ~1.54 million units, down from 1.66 million in 2012 and 1.88 million the year before that. Some analysts and industry executives predict UK car production to hit 2 million by 2017 as investments to plants bear fruit.
Ah, the wondrous web of global automaking: Drivers and sorters at DHL are going on strike, and this threatens to cripple production at Jaguar Land Rover in the UK. JLR has outsourced a good deal of its logistics to Deutsche Post–owned DHL. DHL employees serving JLR’s plants at Castle Bromwich and Solihull voted for a strike after they did not receive terms and conditions extended to regular JLR staff. (Read More…)
We may have one of those really rare cases where Formula 1 racing leads to honest, provable new car sales. The UK boutique builder Caterham “is developing a crossover SUV and a subcompact car with Renault, Chairman Tony Fernandes” told Reuters. The cars should be launched “soon after the first sports cars due in 2016 under the Caterham and Renault Alpine brands,” the wire says. (Read More…)
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! (Read More…)
A scheme to tax cars based on their C02 output could have the unintended consequence of causing UK motorists to scrap tens of thousands of perfectly good cars in the UK, solely because their annual tax rates, based on C02 consumption, have become too expensive for many motorists.
With Nissan bringing Leaf production to Japan and the United States, the next stop on their localization train is Europe. The Sunderland, UK plant will begin in the spring, and along with European production will be a series of tweaks for that market.
Continental Europe’s car sales may be in the toilet, but the UK’s new car market was up 5.3 percent in 2012, with the Ford Fiesta leading the sales charts.
Infiniti’s often discussed future premium compact model will be built at Nissan’s UK plant in Sunderland, Nissan says. It was previously announced that the new Infiniti will “share a platform developed with Mercedes. (Read More…)
If you read British buff books like EVO, it would be easy to think that the hot versions of the Subaru Impreza are fixtures of the UK’s motoring landscape. Not only are they beloved by enthusiasts, but the WRX is even employed as a police car in certain municipalities. But starting in 2013, British car buyers won’t be able to purchase one of the small Scoobies.
Aston Martin won’t be sold to the Indians, nor will it be sold to the Chinese. The low-intensity bidding war for the British boutique sports car maker was won by the Italian private equity group Investindustrial. It is buying 37.5 percent for $241 million via a capital increase agreed with majority Kuwaiti owner Investment Dar, Reuters reports after having received confirmation by Aston Martin. (Read More…)
Mumbai tractor moguls Mahindra & Mahindra hope to emerge as owners of Aston Martin by the end of the week, but Italy’s InvestIndustrial shares the same aspirations, reports Reuters from the sidelines of the bidding war for the British sports car maker. While the world waits for the hammer to come down, scientists make a perplexing discovery. (Read More…)
MG, now owned by Chinese auto maker SAIC, is apparently gunning for Kia and beyond. But despite their lofty ambitions, MG hasn’t made much headway in the automotive world.
An experiment conducted in London shows that the new MINI is the world’s strongest babe-magnet. This 2012 MINI attracted 28 very skinny and flexible ladies. (Read More…)