Automotive Manufacturers expecting turbocharged 2015

UK automotive manufacturers are optimistic about 2015, with 85% expecting growth, according to a recent BDO survey.
The survey, which was carried out in conjunction with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (ImechE), looked at issues that mattered most to the institution's automotive industry members. It revealed that 34% are hopeful of an increase in sales up to 5% and almost half looking at strong growth of between 5% and 20%.
"The overwhelmingly positive outlook from the automotive industry looks very encouraging for this key component of the UK manufacturing sector," said Tom Lawton, head of manufacturing, BDO.
Manufacturers' positive outlook continues for investment, with just under 60% expecting to increase the amount spent on R&D to increase from 2014.
Interest and investment in research is mainly being channelled into low carbon and electric vehicles, but engineers surveyed say there's much work to be done in terms of developing this market, reducing cost and moving these vehicles into the mainstream.
"The focus on export markets to deliver this growth comes as no surprise given the UK's reputation for world class innovation and it is essential that companies continue to reinvest in R&D to maintain this position on an increasingly competitive world stage," added Mr Lawton.
When it comes to government support, two thirds of respondents said they felt they had limited visibility or understanding on support available to the industry. A third were, therefore, unsure whether government spending commitments, were sufficient to secure the future of automotive manufacturing.
Mr Lawton concluded: "The Government also has its part to play and it must do everything it can to support this export drive and to ensure that its support for the industry is well promoted and understood."
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