Tag Archive | "UK motor industry"

UK Motor Industry Bucks The Trend


Demonstrating its resilience in the face of our economic woes, the British automotive sector has had a good year. It is amazing to think that the UK actually has no less than seven volume car makers, eight commercial manufacturers and eight Formula 1 teams resident. We are the second biggest vehicle market in Europe and have produced ten per cent more vehicles than last year.

So whilst the British media like to concentrate on – and hype up – all our problems, they have remained fairly tight-lipped about this industrial success story that continues to provide many jobs as Nissan in Sunderland have proved.

It doesn’t stop there because UK car makers are doing their bit for the environment by continually reducing emissions which are down 3.5% in just one year. The average is now a sweet smelling 133.2g/km. In fact, in the last ten years emissions are down by 23% in total. It has become obvious that fuel efficiency, new types of vehicles and some exceptionally good deals especially in the city car and supermini sectors, have driven this growth in the industry.

There are plenty more new models in the pipeline and, in 2013, more electric cars will join the fray – despite the public’s reservations – and the number of hybrids continues to rise. Cars are offering increasingly sophisticated safety features as the lists of options available grows and grows. Cars are now seen as lifestyle choices rather than just playthings or transport.

In 2013 new car registrations are expected to top two million units. This is because the industry has invested a not insignificant £6 billion in just two years. Overseas sales account for as much as ten per cent of British exports and the net value-added to the UK economy is some £12 billion, so at least someone is paying their taxes.

The continued popularity of the automobile worldwide can be judged by the content at the North American International Motor Show in Detroit in January 2013. Manufacturers have committed to unveiling some 50 new models either for worldwide or North American distribution. That’s great for the global auto industry and great for new car byuers. The choice has never been better.

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Aston Martin Centenary 2013


Aston Martin is a name that is dear to the hearts of British car enthusiasts. Even those whose interest in cars stops at them being mere transport will concede that over the years they have made some truly beautiful vehicles and they just go on getting even more desirable.

It was on the 15th January that Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford founded this iconic brand. The company was originally called Bamford & Martin. Bamford had successes at the Aston Clinton Hill Climb (you can see where this is going) in their first cars. Although Gaydon in Warwickshire is now the base the company was first based in Henniker Mews in Chelsea. The two founders first sold Singer cars but soon decided to build their own at which point the company became Aston Martin.

To celebrate this there will be a photo-shoot at Henniker Mews on the founding date featuring the oldest surviving Aston, an A3 (pictured) and the latest ultimate dream machine, the 2013 Vanquish. There will be a plaque to commemorate the occasion.

It’s a surprise to learn that in the first 90 years of production, even during the famous David Brown years, the company built less than 15000 cars! Introducing a note of horror, David Brown – who put his initials on some of the most famous cars – actually used a Jaguar XJ Series 1 as his personal motor! It says something about the more recent transformation of the company that, since 2003, they have built 45000 units.

In the same period the company has supplemented the modern range of the DB9 and the Vantage with other models and variations including the superb Rapide. Now that’s what we call a family car! The expansion has continued worldwide as Aston Martin have become truly international boasting 146 dealerships around the globe.

From the 15th to the 21st July there will be a week-long festival. It’s open house at Gaydon that week and will include factory based events and driving tours. Form an orderly queue. The highpoint is a concours event in central London. It will be a year to remember for Aston Fans.

In the century since the company’s inception, Aston Martin has represented the peak of sporting excellence, stunning design and old-school craftsmanship. Times change and other owners will come along but the name Aston Martin arches over such trivialities to remain resolutely British at heart. Just ask James Bond.

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bG9nZ2VyX0xvZ28uanBnIjtpOjI7czo3MzoiaHR0cDovL21vdG9yYmxvZ2dlci5jby51ay93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzMtTW90b3JfQmxvZ2dlcl9Mb2dvLnBuZyI7fTwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX3ZpZGVvX2NhdGVnb3J5PC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gQXV0byBOZXdzPC9saT48L3VsPg==