What's The Biggest Car Company In Britain?
26 January 2016 - Carbuzz
Clue: it isn't the one with the largest factory. Over the years, the UK's slowly been developing itself into one of the world's major makers of motor vehicles.
Yes, there is that rather recent blemish of Ford closing down its Southampton factory in order to transfer all production of the Ford Transit van to Turkey, but Britain is on the whole one of the world's core hubs of car manufacturing (as Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond all handily point out in the video below) that's close on breaking its own production record.
That record is an annual production run of 1.92 million cars, which was attained all the way back in 1972. And, whilst the UK car industry was still some way off topping that figure in 2015 (last year saw nearly 1.6 million cars roll off the UK's various production lines), it is slowly getting there, as the latest figures reveal.
However, the bigger story for us is that, for the first time in ages, Nissan is no longer the maker of the highest quantity of cars in Britain anymore - despite it having comfortably the largest car making facility in the country, and producing almost half a million cars (476,586 if you want to be precise). Instead, the resurgent Jaguar Land Rover has taken the crown, thanks to a surge in production to 489,923 units. A huge chunk of that increase is bound to have come from the new Land Rover Discovery Sport SUV and Jaguar XE sedan - especially the latter, considering it's quite possibly one of the best cars on sale today for under $50,000.
However, despite Nissan being in the process of setting up a new production line for the Infiniti Q30 premium hatchback, we wouldn't be surprised to see Jaguar retain its crown when the figures are officially totted up next year. After all, the deeply-controversial-but-bound-to-sell-like-hotcakes Jaguar F-Pace and Range Rover Evoque Convertible go on sale in 2016, as does the full size third-gen Land Rover Discovery, so JLR is bound to shift plenty of cars over the next 12 months. All in all, things are looking up immensely for Jaguar Land Rover - especially when you look back to 2008, where JLR execs were anticipating government bailouts and the entire UK car industry came close to requiring urgent action in order to survive.
Factor in Jaguar Land Rover's sales successes with those of Mini, Bentley and Vauxhall, along with the extra cash pouring into Aston Martin and Lotus, and you have the makings of some very exciting things brewing on the other side of the pond.