As spring manufacturers who have previously supplied springs for cars, we are very interested in the development of the vehicle industry and are very excited to see that the UK automotive industry’s productivity has risen by 208% in the last 20 years. In this article, we take a look at how this industry became one of the UK’s most important economic assets, turning over £82bn in 2018.
The SMMT Report
The revelation that the automotive industry has more than doubled its productivity came to light as part of the recent Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) report. Here are some of the greatest gains on the report:
- UK Automotive productivity up 208% since 1999.
- Two decades of energy savings; enough water saved to give 810 litres to every person in the UK.
- CO2 per vehicle produced, more than halved.
- Great steps towards becoming a sustainable industry.
- Waste going to landfill is down by 95.4%.
These are all fantastic achievements for the industry. The continued growth and aspirations towards attaining greener technology suggest that it will continue to thrive, but what were the contributing factors towards these astounding improvements and how will the industry continue to develop in the future?
How These Improvements Were Achieved
To achieve such vast improvements across the industry, detailed organisation and innovation are equally important. Areas which experienced change were focused on delivering environmental sustainability to ensure that the vehicle industry stays fashionable, and therefore marketable.
Working towards environmental goals has pushed the automotive industry into concentrating on where they can cut waste and maximise efficiency. In some areas, this has involved exchanging human labour for swift automation. High-tech machinery is often a long-term investment, but nonetheless, it has allowed the industry to redistribute the resources that were previously spent on human wages on growing their business, providing more skilled work, and improving the quality of their products.
With a growing business with a demand for innovation, the integration of skilled staff is more important than ever. This has led to a rise in the number of training days in the industry by over 90%, showing that this growth has been shared with its workers.
In considering how to achieve maximum efficiency, attention was also turned towards the disposal of the product at the end of its life. By reclaiming old parts and materials, the amount of waste going to landfill has reduced by over 95%, and it is now thought that over 90% of a car’s aluminium content is sourced from recycled materials.
Recycling and re-using is having a very positive effect on the life of the industry’s products, too. It’s thought that cars now last seven months longer than they used to, which means that growth is good for the consumer too.
Where the Next 20 Years Might Take the UK Automotive
It can be hard to think about the future with Brexit looming around the corner. Experts and critics alike agree that there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding where our country is headed. Despite this, there are some key concepts driving the industry towards future success:
Rather than small adjustments to the way that our vehicles are constructed (people, skills, manufacturing), the way our vehicles work is being revolutionised. Within our lifetimes, the concept of a manually driven car could become outdated. By revolutionising the core features of their product, the automotive industry is sure to find an audience to sell to.
Connected Vehicle Technology
Before the release of autonomous driving, however, we are likely to see the completion of connected vehicle technology. This is where vehicles are connected to the internet and can communicate vital information to one another, such as how far apart the vehicles are from one another, integrated satnav, GPS, and similar features to decrease drivers’ stress and improve safety.
This is a technology in progress, with more people investing in electric and hybrid cars. In the future, our cars might have improved battery and charging capacity, or solar panel roofs to contribute to their power. With technology continuing to develop at amazing speeds towards cleaner, greener goals, the future of our automobiles is certainly looking bright.
As bespoke spring manufacturers, we understand the importance of innovation. We recently created a clicker spring stamping for the revolutionary self-heating bottle, Yoomi, which is changing the lives of new parents everywhere, so we understand the necessity of working towards the future. If you require a spring to fit your product, why not contact us for information regarding our services?