Low-volume doesn’t mean low levels of production and financial performance; here are four key statistics that show the strength of the UK’s low-volume manufacturers.
There are approximately 25,000 cars produced each year by low-volume manufacturers in the UK. That equates to around 64 cars lovingly constructed by skilled craftsmen each day. While it is a way off the 4,136 cars produced a day by the industry as a whole, the UK’s low-volume manufacturers turn over around £2.5 billion a year.
Around 70% of all low-volume cars built each year in the UK are exported. Just like the wider automotive industry, low volume manufacturers are increasingly focusing on lucrative new markets such as China.
There are more than 100 low-volume manufacturers in the UK building specialist and niche vehicles. While many are already widely recognised brands, such as Caterham or Morgan, there are plenty of new players coming to the market, such as Elemental Cars, Envisage and Zenos.
More than 10,000 people in the UK are employed by low-volume vehicle manufacturers. Due to the specialised way in which many low-volume vehicles are produced, many manufacturers rely on a highly skilled workforce, meaning that training is paramount. Caterham has a workforce of 134, while Morgan employs around 180, including a number of skilled apprentices.
This week, SMMT’s Westminster headquarters is playing host to an exhibition highlighting the importance of the UK’s low volume manufacturers. On display is the Caterham Seven Roadsport 175 SV, as well as the Morgan 4/4 and Aero 8 Coupe.