Nowadays it seems people everywhere want to own a UK-made car
By Hamish Champ
Posted 17 August 2012
We might have had a fairly rubbish summer weatherwise, but judging by the latest production and retail figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders July was another bumper month for the UK’s car industry.
The appeal of UK-made motor cars has particularly increased in the hearts and minds of overseas buyers, for whom some of this country’s leading marques will always be top of their shopping list.
The success of Jaguar Land Rover’s Evoque in Europe, the US and beyond has taken some by surprise – it’s not everyone’s favourite vehicle after all.
But the Chinese are lapping them up, apparently buying 5,000 in the first three months of this year.
And naturally this success is great news for domestic suppliers into JLR, as it expands to meet demand.
It is a far cry from the days of British Leyland and its ilk. I recall hearing stories that one ought not to buy an Austin Allegro or a Princess if it had been made either on a Monday or a Friday, since the quality was likely to be decidedly iffy.
Whether or not these stories were true, the perception of UK car production now, compared 30 years ago, is vastly different.
High quality production centres, staffed by skilled, dedicated workers proud of turning out well made, reliable cars, are what today’s UK car industry is all about.
For some it is regrettable that there is precious little left of the domestically-owned car manufacturing sector and that it took inward investment and overseas expertise to turn around the reputation of the industry from being one of low quality back then to the high quality variety which it has now.
Should we be bothered that much of the profit goes to overseas owners, or should we be delighted that we have a sector that attracts considerable sums of vital capital investment as well as top-of-the-range production techniques that are making us the place to build cars?
British-made or British-owned? You tell me.
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