Brexit would slam the brakes on the UK’s hugely successful car industry – Telegraph.co.uk

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This new model of the British car industry which has emerged since the 1980s is very different from the less successful version that we remember from the 1960s and 1970s. It is predominantly foreign-owned. The top five brands of car produced in the UK are Nissan, Landrover (owned by Tata Motors of India), Mini (owned by BMW), Toyota and Honda.

Our dependence on these foreign-owned firms makes some people uneasy. But the car industry now operates in a global marketplace. Having the world’s leading car companies operating in the UK means we have access to the leading technology, world-class design, high quality management and global sales and marketing networks that enable our cars to be sold throughout the world.

Half of the top 10 world car manufacturers have major production facilities in the UK – Toyota, Nissan, Honda, BMW and Ford, which builds engines at Bridgend and Dagenham. A second criticism which is sometimes made of the new model of the UK car industry is that it is just an assembly operation, with a lot of the key components imported from overseas.

It is true that all the major manufacturers operate their supply-chains on a European and global basis – which involves importing components from abroad. But there are also 2,500 component suppliers to the automotive industry based here in the UK, according to the SMMT. And though only about 160,000 jobs are directly involved in manufacturing, over three-quarters of a million people, 2.5pc of the workforce, are employed in an activity linked to the car industry or commercial vehicle production.

Brexit would slam the brakes on the UK’s hugely successful car industry – Telegraph.co.uk