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Why 2015 was a great year for UK Automotive

2015 was undoubtedly an incredible time to be part of the UK Automotive industry; despite 2015 being blighted by a number of high profile controversies, from safety recalls to emissions scandals, the industry came out on top and proved itself full of resilience and stamina.

1) 2015 proves a record year for the UK Automotive industry

SMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, praised the UK Automotive industry for hitting an all-time record high which has been driven by “strong consumer and business confidence” despite the obstacles the industry has faced. Invaluable to the UK’s economy, with a turnover of £69.5 billion, the industry directly employs 160,000 and almost 800,000 across the wider supply chain.

Read more on this subject by the fantastic source article from The Manufacturer.

2) UK car manufacturing reached a 10-year high in 2015

Land Rover Discovery Sport 2016The latest figures show that UK car manufacturing has reached a 10 year high. Demand for UK made cars is on the rise, with more UK made vehicles being exported than ever before.  In 2015 Toyota increased UK production by 10.4%, producing 190,000 cars, Vauxhall’s production rose by 9.5% to 85,000 and Jaguar Land Rover’s saw a 9% increase in production taking total vehicles produced to 489,000 vehicles. Pictured is the 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport.

3) UK Automotive annual production is on the road to record vehicle production in 2020

Annual production is set to hit a record high of two million vehicles in 2020; this record has not been beaten since 1970. The already mammoth sector’s further growth could create a further 37,500 UK jobs by 2020 with the bulk of these being within the supply chain. Find out more about how the automotive industry is speeding towards setting this record high.

4) Innovation is around every corner…

2015 Jaguar XJ UK AutomotiveMajor players in the industry, such as Jaguar Land Rover, are investing in innovation centres to focus on the creation of key technologies such as safer, smarter cars and a low carbon future.  Pictured is the beautiful 2015 Jaguar XJ.

In order to develop smaller, lighter components to improve performance and ensure a low carbon future, new materials development is crucial and as a result new materials are continuously being introduced to vehicle builds.

Achieving strong adhesion when bonding dissimilar materials, from traditionally “non-stick” polymers such as polypropylene, composite blends and lightweight metals such as aluminium and titanium, is a common problem faced throughout the automotive industry.

eco_friendlyPlasma Treating has allowed multiple automotive OEM’s and sub-suppliers to solve their adhesion problems while giving them access to a range of cheaper, lighter and traditionally “non-stick” materials. Weight is further reduced as strong adhesion can now be achieved on a smaller surface area, this brings economic and environmental benefits, discounting the need for costly primers and bonding agents while allowing the use of environmentally friendly water based adhesives which have the potential to lower hazards and costs.

Take a look at how Plasma Treating has solved the problems of adhesion and powered innovation for Aston Martin and automotive sub-supplier Wipac Ltd.

5) Technological advancements show no sign of slowing down

The technological and automotive industries continue to converge at an ever increasing rate; during 2015 we’ve seen technological innovations develop at a rapid pace.

Google Self Driving CarLast year we saw the rise of the autonomous car which first arrived in 2013 from Mercedes-Benz, in 2015 we saw big firms from Volvo to Google continue to develop autonomous innovations. Why not take a look at the source of our autonomous car image? Nesta provide an interesting discussion on the potential cyber security issues that come with driverless cars.

Materials Engineers will be particularly interested in 2015’s innovative first production launch of wheels made purely from carbon fibre. The wheels are stronger than regular alloys and the lighter un-sprung mass has a positive impact on response times, chassis dynamics, steering feel and ride quality.

Want to find out more about the Automotive industry’s top technological innovations in 2015?  Take a look at Motor Authority’s “Best Car Tech of 2015 and see if you agree with their choices!

That concludes our look at the top five reasons why it’s a great time for the UK Automotive industry. Don’t forget to check back for our weekly blogs where we will delve into other industries from Medical Plastics to Motorsport.