UK automotive excellence on show at the 2012 Paris Motor Show

27 September 2012 #SMMT News

UK automotive is set to deliver an impressive display at this year’s Paris Motor Show, showcasing the very best of British design, engineering and manufacturing.

The Paris Motor Show is expected to attract more than 1.5 million visitors and media from around the world keen to see the latest in vehicle technology, model design and product development emerging from industry.

A number of UK-based manufacturers have announced or are expected to confirm new models, product enhancements or exciting concepts at the Show while visitors will preview the very latest in fuel efficient, high-tech and ever more comfortable models landing on forecourts in the near future.

UK designed, engineered and manufactured car and engines feature among some of the Show’s headline grabbing models. Just some of the key UK-related launches at the 2012 Paris Motor Show include:

Aston Martin will showcase its new Vanquish model as well as the DB9 that has received a range of major enhancements. The Vanquish features a re-engineered version of the company’s 6.0-litre V12 engine, along with body panels formed entirely of carbon fibre. Both cars represent one of the UK’s most celebrated specialist manufacturers.

Bentley has unveiled its Continental GT3 race car concept at the Show, confirming the company’s intention to return to motorsport towards the end of 2013. The company’s last motorsport project was the Speed 8 Prototype at the beginning of the millennium, which resulted in an outright win at the Le Mans 24-hour race in 2003.

BMW’s UK engine plant at Hams Hall, which built its three millionth unit earlier this year, also has a claim at the Paris Motor Show. The 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine featuring in the Concept Active Tourer on BMW’s stand will be built there. The UK production of the three-cylinder engine is part of the £500 million investment announced last year, and the powertrain is also expected to power the future model i8 plug-in hybrid electric supercar.

Ford’s stand includes the new Mondeo and Fiesta models, both of which will feature the company’s high-tech, UK-developed 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine. Also on show will be the new Tourneo Connect, available with 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engines built in Bridgend and diesel powertrains assembled at Ford’s Dagenham plant. Following the installation of its third and most powerful wind turbine, the Dagenham Diesel Centre returned to running on 100% renewable energy last year.

Honda is displaying not only its vehicle assembly expertise in Swindon, but also its powertrain manufacturing facility. The latest UK-built Civic and CR-V models are on the stand, with the Civic featuring the new 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine with CO2 emissions of 94g/km. The exhibit showcases the £267m investment programme at the Swindon plant. 500 new staff joined the facility this year, taking the total workforce to 3,500.

Jaguar Land Rover has a number of new models at the show, including the new Range Rover and the Jaguar F-TYPE. The new Range Rover was unveiled earlier in the month following a £370m investment in the company’s UK manufacturing facilities to support the product launch to 170 countries around the world. JLR’s recent UK manufacturing expansion includes the beginning of work on a £355 million engine factory near Wolverhampton, a move to 24-hour production for the Range Rover Evoque at Halewood, and the creation of 1,100 new jobs at Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich plant.

McLaren has unveiled the P1 as a design study for the upcoming supercar. When the P1 goes into production next year at the McLaren Production Centre (MPC), it will join the existing 12C and 12C Spider models. The MPC is now the home of McLaren Automotive, supporting up to 800 jobs and manufacturing around 4,000 vehicles by the middle of the decade.

Toyota has revealed its new UK-built Auris, which will be available with a hybrid powertrain from launch. An estate variant is also expected to be unveiled, which will be the first model in its class to be available with a full hybrid powertrain. The line-up will illustrate Toyota’s £100m investment in its Burnaston manufacturing facility in Derbyshire to produce the new Auris, creating some 1,500 new jobs and injecting £85 million into the UK supply chain.

The UK automotive industry is Europe’s fourth largest producer of cars and a major international producer of engines and components. Generating more than £50 billion turnover, the sector remains the largest in UK manufacturing and global demand for UK-built vehicles sustains healthy production volumes and export levels. Around £1.3bn spent on R&D each year also ensures the UK maintains effective long-term progress on the low carbon agenda.

UK automotive manufacturers have set their sights on breaking all-time manufacturing records by the end of 2015. The confidence is fuelled by more than £6bn of investments committed to the country during the last two years that will see facilities expanded, new models introduced and thousands more people employed.

To find out more about the significance of the UK automotive industry, download SMMT Motor Industry Facts 2012.

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