Celebrating the best of UK manufacturing

11 July 2013 #SMMT News

SMMT is showcasing the best of UK automotive manufacturing with a two week-long exhibition at its headquarters in Westminster, London. Running from 8-19 July, the exhibition celebrates the success of the automotive sector and aims to encourage young people into a career within the industry.

Featuring displays from Ford, GKN and MINI, the exhibition represents all aspects of the automotive manufacturing industry, from component supply to fully built vehicles, and also coincides with an SMMT-hosted Foyer Federation Learning Forum event.

The Foyer Federation Working Assets programme works with young people to help develop the skills they need to be employable and independent. SMMT has partnered with the Foyer Federation to develop an automotive-specific programme, which focuses on careers in engineering or manufacturing within the industry.

The exhibition at SMMT’s Westminster office features the Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost accompanied by a working model of the International Engine of the Year-winning unit, which was designed and engineered at the manufacturer’s Dunton and Dagenham research and development centres. The most productive engine manufacturer in the UK, Ford produced more than 1.5 million units in the UK in 2012. It currently employs approximately 15,000 people in the UK.

Also featured in the SMMT exhibition is GKN Driveline, a leading global supplier of drivetrain systems. The UK manufacturer is showcasing its engineered solutions for the Jaguar FTYPE, including the electronic torque management system used in the V8S.

John McLuskie, Product & Business Development Director, GKN Driveline said, “Being a global company allows us to bring engineering from around the world to our customers in the UK. Working together we can provide engineered solutions for efficiency and performance. Engineering is at the heart of everything we do and we will do all we can to inspire and support a new generation of engineers, to help secure the future of our industry.”

Completing the exhibition line up is the MINI Coupé, which is built at the manufacturers’ Oxford plant. In 2012 MINI Plant Oxford produced more than 200,000 vehicles and has recently opened an on-site training school to benefit the plant’s apprentices and existing employees. MINI also operates a pressings plant in Swindon, while BMW’s engine facility in Hams Hall, Warwickshire last year produced 385,000 units including those for petrol-variant MINIs.

Frank Bachmann, Managing Director MINI Plant Oxford and Swindon said, “Over the last decade, MINI has been a unique global success and the BMW Group has even greater plans for the future development of the brand. Plant Oxford has played a key role in the industrial and social history of Britain for 100 years with cars being exported to over 100 countries around the world. It has been a significant centre of automotive production both nationally and globally. In 2013 Plant Oxford celebrates 100 years of car-making against a background of rising production, increased investment and continuing expansion. In support of the company’s international growth strategy for the MINI brand BMW Group has announced since 2000 investments of £1.75 billion into its UK manufacturing operations.”

SMMT’s Interim Chief Executive, Mike Baunton said, “The UK automotive manufacturing industry is one of the strongest in Europe and we believe that our current exhibition reflects that. One of the greatest challenges currently facing the industry is with regards to skills and how we ensure that the talent pool doesn’t run dry. With initiatives such as the Foyer Federation Working Assets programme, we’re making sure that young people are inspired by the motor industry and have the skills necessary to pursue a career within it.”

Click through for more information on the Foyer Federation Working Assets programme or, for more detail on the industry’s recent manufacturing performance, see the 2013 Automotive Sustainability Report.

Filter News

Update Newsletter