19 comments on “That death of British manufacturing

  1. @PaulB: on the basis that Renault, Peugeot, Fiat, Seat, VW, Audi and BMW will all want to remain able to export cars to the UK market, I suspect nothing.

  2. Shame that most UK-manufactured cars are owned by foreign companies.

    Apple’s iPhones and iMacs are designed in the USA but made in China. California gets the high-end design jobs and most of the profits; Shenzhen just gets the low-value manufacturing. Although it’s nice that Brummies have jobs making cars for foreign-owned brands, these aren’t jobs with high added value.

  3. Although it’s nice that Brummies have jobs making cars for foreign-owned brands, these aren’t jobs with high added value.

    But the design jobs are – for Jag and Land Rover, anyway. And they’re still in Brummidge.

    Just as the design jobs for Lotus are still in Hethel, not in Shah Alam (although a Lotus team are in Malaysia helping Proton – but those are value add British jobs, to some extent.)

  4. The Mail article quoted by Tim is plain wrong : Germany produces over 5 million vehicles per year, way in excess of the 2.2 million that the Mail expects Britain to be producing by 2016.

    The article was totally implausible even on first reading: Germany has the mass-manufacturers of VW, BMW, Opel Werke etc for a home market of 80 million people. Britain is nowhere near.

  5. PaulB

    I expect no effect whatsoever, and although it controls it from afar and with the use of a variety of ‘Useful idiots’ many of whom are senior in the organisation, China is not part of the EU….

    Who says we’re going to leave anyway? Something of a straw man, even by you standards…

  6. I think that headline is what some call post modern journalism. Ie completely untrue. Somehow 5.5 million is less than 1.2 million. Congrats to SBML. I liked the fact that Britain actually produces less cars than that well known power house of the automotive industry, Iran. Also that Belgium produces the most per capita.

    Shame to misreport a genuine success story.

  7. VP: Tim says we ought to leave. I don’t know what the consequences would be, but I’d like to think UKIP has given them careful consideration.

  8. With the exception of Jaguar Land Rover, all surviving ‘British’ car makers are merely assembling products that were engineered in Japan or Germany. And even JLR are overseas owned (Tata Motors, India). On the other hand, cars produced in Germany are actually engineered there, and the firms doing the engineering and manufacturing are German registered and owned. Quite a difference, I say, but not one that the Daily Fail would bother to mention.

  9. Paul B
    I think there might well be consequences we cannot foresee. The Icelanders who rejected EU membership argued the UK was ‘Too big’ to adopt the same relationship with the EU they had (or so they alleged the EU negotiators had told them) – I think it unlikely the EU would react with tariffs but that is a risk. It’s whether that potential cost outweighs the benefits of cutting bureaucracy and the huge costs of compliance with EU regulation. That is a debate that is still ongoing within UKIP, as far as I’m aware.

  10. Virtually all Formula One cars are designed in Britain. Even the Germans get the British to do it for them. There is a whole industry out there of small companies that do car design work – a lot more of the car industry is British than you might think.

    Even companies like Ferrari that do their own F1 design work, have teams headed by British people.

  11. Further to SMFS: Of the 12 teams currently competing in Formula One, only three (McLaren, Williams and Marussia) are nominally British, and one (Force India) has dual British-Indian nationality. However, a further four (Mercedes, Red Bull, Caterham and Lotus) are based in UK, and are effectively British despite being nominally foreign, in that some other national anthem (respectively German, Austrian, Malaysian and French) would be played should they win. Only Sauber (Swiss), HRT (Spanish), Ferrari and Toro Rosso (both Italian) are actually non-British.

    Of the four engines in use, two are British. (Mercedes took over the Ilmor operation in Brixworth.)

    The main electronic system used by all entrants is British (made by McLaren) but this is a matter of regulation.

  12. Ian Bennett – “Only Sauber (Swiss), HRT (Spanish), Ferrari and Toro Rosso (both Italian) are actually non-British.”

    Sauber’s chief designer has the very Austrian name of Matt Morris. And did a Mech Eng degree at Coventry University:

    http://www.sauberf1team.com/en/team/who_is_who/matt_morris.cfm

    Ferrari’s chief engine designer used to be a guy named Gilles Simon. Not Italian. But their chassis designer is still British – Pat Fry. Their chief designer is Greek but he was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and then did a PhD in aeronautical engineering at Imperial College London.

    HRT’s chief designer is Mark Tatham. I am guessing he is not Spanish. Although their chief for reliability is. Go figure.

    Toro Rosso’s Technical Director is James Key who used to work for Sauber.

    “Of the four engines in use, two are British. (Mercedes took over the Ilmor operation in Brixworth.)”

    Sauber usually uses Ferrari’s engines. And they have tended to be designed by British people in Italy rather than by Italians.

  13. SMFS: You’re absolutely correct, of course; I was pointing out the nature of the teams themselves, rather than the staff involved. Many people, in my experience, regard Mercedes as a very German team, and Renault (when they competed as a team) as very French, although Mercedes is essentially the old BAR team and Renault (now Lotus) is Toleman. Red Bull is, of course, the old Stewart team.

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>