Did you know that the UK now exports more cars than we import for the first time since 1976? This nugget of economic data was lost among the crisis in the Eurozone and the ongoing attempts by Labour to talk down our economy.
In the first three months of this year, the UK manufactured 401,412 vehicles – a 12% increase on the previous quarter.
As our Party’s Spokesman for Transport and Tourism in the European Parliament, I am often in open disagreement with those members of the ‘anti car’ tendency in the Parliament.
Too often, many of those on the Left or the Greens, see car ownership as somehow a bad thing and that with just one more tram line here and an extra bus route there, we could all give up our cars and live happily ever after in a car-free continent.
Yet car ownership and car manufacturing are vital to the success of the economy. In the last few months, manufacturers in my region have announced new investment, and new jobs, often in areas that are in desperate need for both.
Jaguar Land Rover is to spend an extra £1 billion with suppliers over the next four years and will create 300 jobs at a new logistics facility that opens later this summer in Ellesmere Port.
After months of worry, Vauxhall Motors announced that 2,000 jobs have been secured and 700 new jobs will be created at their plant, also in Ellesmere Port, while a further 3,000 jobs are expected to be created in the supply chain as they start work on the new Astra.
Indeed, during my meetings with North West car manufacturers – whether Jaguar Land Rover at Halewood or Bentley Motors in Crewe, it is apparent that the UK in general, and the North West in particular, is increasingly being seen as the first choice for the industry in Europe.
And don’t just take my word for it – this is what the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: “Manufacturing is continuing to lead our economic recovery, with automotive at the forefront of long-term growth opportunities. The major investment commitments made by global vehicle manufacturers to their UK plants and facilities are now beginning to create more jobs and stronger growth in the supply chain.”
The combination of good (and improving) transport links, a skilled, flexible workforce and lower taxes (assisted by the new Enterprise Zones) are the ideal conditions for car manufacture.
This article is taken from an article by Jacqueline on the Conservative Party's website here