And while the figures have been received as a much needed good news story amidst a background of prolonged austerity and muted consumer demand, manufacturers have urged the government not to rest on their laurels.
Instead, argue manufacturers, it is vital that the industry be supported to prevent the UK’s powerful automotive industry slipping into decline.
Martyn Mangan, Investment Manager specialising in Transport Technologies and Manufacturing at Business Birmingham, says:
“Today’s SMMT figures show an increase in vehicle production in the West Midlands region outstripping the national average of 5.8%. The news is cause for celebration, confirming the continued success of the UK’s vehicle manufacturing industry and Birmingham’s place at its forefront. The information, which also shows strong growth from original equipment manufacturers including Jaguar Land Rover, is also a positive sign for the region’s supply chain industries. With vehicle production figures on the rise, opportunities for investment in those companies who rely on the automotive plants for their own success have never been stronger.
“The implication of the news for the Greater Birmingham region’s employment figures could also be seen as positive. 11,500 people already work in the sector in Birmingham alone with around 100,000 in the wider region. If vehicle production receives the support it needs to continue to grow, more jobs will be created, both at the plants themselves and within the wider supply chain.
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Stephens Gaskets Ltd based in Oldbury, Birmingham manufactures Gaskets, Exhaust Gaskets, Cylinder Head Gaskets, Ring Shims, Precision Washers, Shims in Brass, Steel, CS4, Stainless Steel, Plastic, Copper and many others.