UK car output surged 3% in 2013 to 1.51 million

Article by Christian A., on January 23, 2014

Car production in United Kingdom surged 3 percent in 2013 to 1.510 million, the highest since 2007, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said in a statement. Thanks to strong domestic demand as well as exports outside the European Union, carmakers in the UK were able to surpass 2012 figures (1.465 million). UK producers built 2.265 million in 2007. The SMMT predicts that UK production could surpass 1972 record of 1.92 million cars in 2017.

According to SMMT, around 80 percent of the cars produced in the UK in 2013 were exported – with sales divided almost evenly between the European Union and elsewhere. Years ago, the EU accounted for around 70 percent of exports from the UK. In 2013, the United States, China and Russia were the primary non-EU markets for UK cars, each accounting for around 10 percent of exports.

In strong demand are Land Rover's luxury off-road vehicles and sports cars. The carmaker with the most number of cars built in the UK in 2013 was Nissan, followed by Jaguar Land Rover and Toyota. Other major carmakers producing cars in the country are BMW's MINI, Honda and General Motors' Vauxhall brand.

Jaguar Land Rover is expecting its sales volume to grow to about half that of Mercedes-Benz, as per Andy Gloss, global group sales operations director at Jaguar Land Rover. Since Mercedes-Benz was able to sell 1.5 million vehicles in 2013, this means that Jaguar Land Rover is expecting to sell 750,000 vehicles annually.

Land Rover is currently preparing a midrange luxury Discovery and an entry-luxury Defender, which will be joining the luxurious Range Rover family. Goss remarked that while the Discovery range will be sporty, the Defender lineup will be utilitarian.

At the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, Land Rover revealed that it would offer new technologies and improved options for its 2014 Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models. Land Rover has already started taking orders for the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport in September with deliveries to start early this year.

While the offerings will vary according to the individual markets, the 2014 Range Rover and Range Rover Sport should be equipped with the new customer-focused driver assistance technologies such as Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane Departure Warning and Perpendicular Park.

The Range Rover Sport can be powered by a 4.4-liter SDV8 turbo-diesel engine that features a modified intake system with twin-intercoolers, new cast alloy engine mounts, a new sump as well as optimized calibration. This engine is tuned to deliver up to 339 PS of output and up to 700 Nm of peak torque. Power is sent to the wheels via a ZF 8HP70 8-speed automatic transmission.

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