In the UK, Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK at Washington on Tyneside produced the most vehicles in 2012 with an output of 510,572 units. It also made the most of any one single brand – 310,837 of its Qashqai model. In June, the plant will begin building the second-generation Leaf electric car.
The figures produced in the SMMT Motor Industry Facts 2013 of the ‘top five’ UK producers and brands, showed that Jaguar Land Rover held second position with 305,467 vehicles built, though in model ranking its Evoque brand came fourth with 112,331 units built. A new nine-speed automatic gearbox from ZF will be fitted first to Evoque models before spreading through the range.
The third highest output was recorded by BMW’s Mini plant at Oxford with 207,530 units built. The Mini brand came second behind Quasqai.
Honda Motor Manufacturing of Swindon, Wiltshire retuned an output of 165,630 units built in 2012, followed by Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Burneston, Derbyshire with 109,429 units built. Toyota is to create 70 new jobs at Deeside, both to cope with increasing demand - the result of vehicles produced in Brazil now receiving machined parts from the North Wales plant - as well as preparation for a new Auris model.
In third place behind Mini as the next most popular single brand was the Nissan Juke with 154,759 units built, followed in fifth place with the Vauxhall Astra with 90,187 units produced at the Ellesmere Port plant on Merseyside.
Total car production in 2012 amounted to 1,464,906 units, a rise of nine per cent on the 2011 figure of 1,343,810 built. Total commercial vehicle production amounted to 112,039 units manufactured in 2012 – a fall of 6.8 per cent on the figure of 120,189 made in 2011.
In terms of commercial vehicles the SMMT’s figures show that in 2012 Vauxhall produced the most – 59,472 models of the Vauxhall/Opel Vivaro and the Renault Trafic vans.
Ford built 28,031 Transit vans at the Southampton plant it plans to close, while third place was held by Leyland Trucks with 14,685 commercial vehicles produced at its Leyland, Lancashire truck plant. Land Rover recorded production of 6,281 units at Solihull while the position for fifth place was held by Alexander/Dennis with 1,762 trucks and buses.∎