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The boss of the SMMT spoke to the press yesterday about how marvelously 'our' car industry is doing! We are the second largest market in Europe BUT to achieve this position, in 2005 we imported 85% of our 2.44 million new cars :yikes: And even better, 'we are still a major force in a world industry because we have more volume car makers than any other European country'. Somehow he's translating our foreign competitors into 'we'.

Well he's the boss of the SMMT so I suppose he has to try to paint a rosy picture...it's just that of the 5.15 million cars made in Germany last year, by German companies (and that's about 5.15 million more than any British companies could manage), 3.67 million were exported, accounting for almost half of all cars sold in Western Europe! It would be nice to have just one volume British car manufacturer making cars....

SMMT chief gives brighter picture of UK industry

(Can it get any worse?):irked:

Speaking at an automotive media briefing yesterday Christopher Macgowan, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said that despite the recent bad news about the car industry in Britain with closures and job losses involving PSA at Ryton, Vauxhall [compare Vauxhall prices] at Ellesmere Port and TVR in Blackpool, not to mention the loss of MG Rover and the closure of Jaguar’s Browns Lane facility, Britain maintained its position as having more volume car makers than any other European country.

Although sales of new cars in the UK had fallen in 2005 to 2.44 million, the UK remained the second largest European market, more than France, Italy and Spain.

He said, “We have eight big manufacturers producing a range of cars from the MINI and Civic to Range Rovers and Jaguars. We also boast some of the most productive plants. Nissan’s is the leanest in Europe with Toyota not far behind while Ford has hailed the Jaguar plant in Halewood as its best worldwide.”

He added, “But our strength does not only come from big players. There is a unique low-volume and sports car industry with names like Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce, Morgan and Noble. Britain is also the centre of global auto sport design, development and technology and the majority of Formula One teams are based in the UK.”

Macgowan continued, “70 per cent of the cars made here are exported while 85 per cent of those we buy are made outside the UK, we are still a major force in a world industry.”

As if to prove his point Ford yesterday announced that up to 250 extra jobs would be created at the Bridgend engine plant in South Wales where their new 3.2-litre petrol engines will be built.

A revitalised British International Motor Show being held at ExCel in London with public access from 20-30 July will boast a raft of innovations and new model premieres including the world premiere of the new Vauxhall/Opel Corsa with other world debuts from Mazda and BMW said Macgowan.

Miles Better News Agency 24/05/2006
I wonder if Mr. Macgowan's read this yet?
Is Honda on the verge of moving out of Swindon?
URGENT action is needed to prevent car giant Honda abandoning Swindon, a trade union leader has warned. Derek Simpson, general secretary of Amicus, told MPs yesterday that Britain's flexible employment laws are making all car manufacturing jobs vulnerable to plants with cheaper labour in eastern Europe.

British jobs are the first to go because countries like France and Germany have more laws to protect their workers, he argued. He made his comments to the Commons trade and industry committee.
(Presumably the one investigating the collapse of MGR)

MG Rover went to the wall last April with the loss of 6,000 jobs. Since then, there have been 2,300 job losses at Peugeot's Ryton plant in Coventry and 900 jobs lost at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant.

Mr Simpson praised Japanese carmakers Nissan, Honda and Toyota for investing in their British car plants and increasing production. But after the meeting, he said: "I am pretty sure that Japanese car companies will want the advantage of cheap labour that other car companies get."

A Honda spokeswoman said: "Honda is a global company operating 120 manufacturing facilities in 29 countries employing just under 132,000. Honda of the UK Manufacturing in Swindon is the centre of Honda's European car manufacturing operation, producing cars principally for the European market but, also, as part of Honda's global manufacturing network, we are exporting cars to many other regions.

"Honda has invested £1.33bn in its car manufacturing operation in Swindon, employing 4,000 associates and producing 885 cars a day."

Swindon Advertiser 9:34am today
But the Honda spokeswoman didn't deny it....
 

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other_manufacturer
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Is there no real news to print in Wiltshire?

Swindon is the only manufacturing facility for the new Civic hatchback and a principle source for the CR-V. It is also Honda's sole production facility in the EU and contains a sizable R&D facility. The 'story' is baseless conjecture.
 

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Go

What we need is British owned mass manufacturing automotive company, where the profits stay in this country and so does the manufacturing, engineering and design.

Ive said it before. Instead of the government wasting money on sleazy super casino's why not invest in automotive industry- that will employ thousands of people whether they are skilled or not.

There are two hugh empty car plants and increasing unemployment in areas such as Birmingham and Coventry. Super casino's are not the answer...... ;)
________
Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant
 

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ChrisMG said:
What we need is British owned mass manufacturing automotive company, where the profits stay in this country and so does the manufacturing, engineering and design.

Ive said it before. Instead of the government wasting money on sleazy super casino's why not invest in automotive industry- that will employ thousands of people whether they are skilled or not.

There are two hugh empty car plants and increasing unemployment in areas such as Birmingham and Coventry. Super casino's are not the answer...... ;)
Chris,

The profits do not stay in ANY country. They are paid out in dividends or reinvested. The Dividends are paid to shareholders, and the biggest shareholders are pension funds, then unit and investment trusts.

I currently own shares via trusts in Honda & Toyota. My pension fund probably has many more. So has yours.
 

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N.S. Fletcher said:
Is there no real news to print in Wiltshire?

Swindon is the only manufacturing facility for the new Civic hatchback and a principle source for the CR-V. It is also Honda's sole production facility in the EU and contains a sizable R&D facility. The 'story' is baseless conjecture.
I think the idea was that they have the option to pull out of the uk and possibly build new manufacturing premeses somewhere else in europe.
 

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A phrase like "URGENT action is needed to prevent car giant Honda abandoning Swindon, a trade union leader has warned. Derek Simpson, general secretary of Amicus, told MPs yesterday that Britain's flexible employment laws are making all car manufacturing jobs vulnerable to plants with cheaper labour in eastern Europe." is mere scaremongering. He's raising the (at this moment) non-existent fear of Honda pulling out in order to persuade the government to increase employee protection laws.

I think it's irresponsible. We have seen how it only takes a few words in the press to get blown out of all proportion to cause major damage to companies. If his words get blown up into a big 'Honda is pulling out' news story, and thus cause people to stop buying Hondas then Honda may well have to pull out of Swindon.

In fact do we know that Britain's employee protection laws are any weaker than those of France, Germany, Italy et al? I know it's been said, but I've not seen any facts to back it up (though I've not actually looked for them). Does anyone know what the penalties are in Britain, France, Germany and so on so that we may have a comparison?

And do we know that that is the only reason Ryton is shutting? It's almost certainly not, but it suits the union's purposes to say so. Do we actually know what is causing GM to ditch the Ellesmere Port nightshift? There simply has to be more to it that mere employee protection laws.

Britain's laws cannot be that lax if MG Rover were unable to cut the 2/3rds of staff they desperately could have done without?
 

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I can see why the Union leader may be making these comments after what has been portayed as happening, although I'm rather concerned that a paper decided to print the story. In addition perhaps such Union people might find it a good idea to engage brain before mouth and realise that hawking tales like this is the first step to destroying any trust or meaningful dialogue between parties. If anything, Honda can reasonably accuse the Union of wilful mischief from this report.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
sadtosee said:
We buy about 2.4 million cars and make about 1.6 million. In terms of net imports that is about 33% not 85%.
If c.1.55 million officially recorded cars were made in this country last year, of which 75% (1,162,500) were exported, then say 387,500 remained here. So of the 2,440,000 cars registered 2,052,500 were imported, ie 84.1% of our cars are imported. Thats pretty much what the man said!

You can dress up the numbers any way you like, but the fact is that 2.05 million new cars arrived at docks somewhere in this country during 2005, and cost the economy something in the region of £20 billions.

The overwhelming majority of the 1.16 million cars exported from the UK were made by foreign companies so other than job creation they don't provide huge benefits for the UK economy, the profits all wind up in Japan, Germany, France, etc.
 

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The question that we need to ask is why Japan can build cars here why can't we?

We did have the skills but just could not manage it correctly.

Strikes, poor management and lack of investment have been the problem and the governmet just create shelf filling jobs and fiddle the figures to make things look good.
 

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Near me are garages for Jaguar, Land-Rover, Honda and Ford.

If you told "the man in the street" that one of these garages sold 0% new cars made in the UK, he would almost certainly guess wrong.

Arguably "made in the UK" does not generally convey the image of solid engineering that most MGR drivers know it should, but that a Honda has more legitimate reason to have one of those "England" flags fluttering from it than a Ford is a surprise to most.

It is a shame that Honda keep it so quiet.
 

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Howard said:
If c.1.55 million officially recorded cars were made in this country last year, of which 75% (1,162,500) were exported, then say 387,500 remained here. So of the 2,440,000 cars registered 2,052,500 were imported, ie 84.1% of our cars are imported. Thats pretty much what the man said!
I know the figures but the fact is the cars exported balance out a lot of the ones imported - what difference does it make where the physical car ends up?

We consume 33% more cars than we make and that is the net import figure.
 

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If British marques make the right cars people buy them. Look at Rover Group as an example - in the complete doldrums for years and suddenly they make a modern car with fresh design and a new engine (the R8 of 1989) which completely hits the spot and it sells like hot cakes. They got the market right. They then got it hopelessly wrong and look what happened.

Land Rover are doing well, Mini are doing well. Why? Because they've got the right cars at the right time and are marketed well. Do people dismiss Astons, Rolls-Royce, Bentleys because they are UK made? No, they don't.

Whatsmore when you get a product right, it sells all over the world.
 

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mg_zt_t
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sadtosee said:
We buy about 2.4 million cars and make about 1.6 million. In terms of net imports that is about 33% not 85%.
Make? or, assemble? ..
 

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mg_zt_t
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Londonbabe said:
A phrase like "URGENT action is needed to prevent car giant Honda abandoning Swindon, a trade union leader has warned. Derek Simpson, general secretary of Amicus, told MPs yesterday that Britain's flexible employment laws are making all car manufacturing jobs vulnerable to plants with cheaper labour in eastern Europe." is mere scaremongering. He's raising the (at this moment) non-existent fear of Honda pulling out in order to persuade the government to increase employee protection laws.

I think it's irresponsible. We have seen how it only takes a few words in the press to get blown out of all proportion to cause major damage to companies. If his words get blown up into a big 'Honda is pulling out' news story, and thus cause people to stop buying Hondas then Honda may well have to pull out of Swindon.

In fact do we know that Britain's employee protection laws are any weaker than those of France, Germany, Italy et al? I know it's been said, but I've not seen any facts to back it up (though I've not actually looked for them). Does anyone know what the penalties are in Britain, France, Germany and so on so that we may have a comparison?

And do we know that that is the only reason Ryton is shutting? It's almost certainly not, but it suits the union's purposes to say so. Do we actually know what is causing GM to ditch the Ellesmere Port nightshift? There simply has to be more to it that mere employee protection laws.

Britain's laws cannot be that lax if MG Rover were unable to cut the 2/3rds of staff they desperately could have done without?
Would our wonderful media ever do such a thing ?...
 

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MGJohn said:
Make? or, assemble? ..
All manufacturers buy in a minimum of 70% of a car in parts by value (often complete sub-assemblies). That applies throughout the world.

You thing all the parts of a BMW or Mercedes are made in Germany?!
 

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sadtosee said:
All manufacturers buy in a minimum of 70% of a car in parts by value (often complete sub-assemblies). That applies throughout the world.

You thing all the parts of a BMW or Mercedes are made in Germany?!
I don't but many UK cars makers do. Heck some even think their B*W 3-series are MADE in Germany when the come from South Africa, or VWs that are made in Czech Republic, Spain or even elsewhere!
 

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Jim K said:
The question that we need to ask is why Japan can build cars here why can't we?
A better question would be how did we build Japanese cars here and Joe Punter never noticed the difference from the Jap version? Would Honda be where it is now if Joe Punter had realised that much of outout in the 80s and 90s came from ROVER factories?
 
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