The British automotive manufacturing sector had a bumper year in 2023, with more than a million made across the UK.
This includes 905,117 cars and 120,357 commercial vehicles, with overall output increasing by 17 per cent compared to 2022, with an especially strong end to the year.
Production of hybrid and electric vehicles also surged by 48 per cent, with almost 350,000 vehicles of this type. But what vehicles are made in the UK, and where? Let’s take a look. .
Aston Martin is known internationally for being a British sports car maker, and its full line-up of cars are all manufactured in the UK. It operates two plants, one in St Athan, south Wales, where the DBX is built and its main facility in Gaydon, Warwickshire, which makes cars like the Vantage and new DB12 sports cars.
Bentley produces all its cars from an impressive factory in Crewe, Cheshire, with its line-up including the Continental GT, Flying Spur and Bentayga SUV. The latter accounts for 44 per cent of its full production, in fact. Bentley manufactured 12,859 cars here in the UK last year.
While Jaguar’s sales have fallen in recent years, the majority of the cars it makes are still manufactured here in the UK. It produces its popular F-Pace in Solihull alongside Range Rovers, while the XE and XF saloons, along with the F-Type sports car, are manufactured at Castle Bromwich.
Land Rover accounted for the majority of JLR’s total 238,422 production in 2023, and when combined with Jaguar, is the second largest car producer in Britain. Land Rover makes the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Velar at Solihull while its smaller Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque are made in Halewood, Merseyside. It’s only the Defender and Discovery that are made outside the UK in Slovakia.
The London Electric Vehicle Company might not be as well known as others on this list, but you’ll likely recognise the electrified London black cab that this firm produces. It also makes an electric van known as the VN5, both at a site near Coventry.
Though Lotus increasingly manufactures most of its cars outside of the UK – its new Eletre SUV and Emeya saloon are both made in China – it still continues to produce its sports cars here in Britain. The Emira is built in Hethel, Norfolk.
McLaren has established itself as a serious supercar competitor in recent years, and it shows just how diverse the UK’s automotive companies can be. All McLarens are made at a state-of-the-art facility in Woking, Surrey, including the 750S and Artura.
Mini’s factory in Cowley, Oxford, continues to churn out a huge volume of its cars, and last year it manufactured 184,996 vehicles, though this does represent a small decrease on the previous year. Mini produced its renowned Hatch there in 2023 and phased out production of the Clubman last year. It will soon be gearing up ready to manufacture its new Cooper three-door hatchback.
Morgan is one of the UK’s smallest carmakers, but shows off a level of craftsmanship and individuality that is lost with mass-production sites. It has a site in Malvern, Worcestershire that makes its range of sports cars.
Nissan is by far the biggest car producer in the UK, with a huge 324,893 new cars being produced at its plant in Sunderland in 2023 across three cars – its Qashqai and Juke crossovers, as well as the electric Leaf hatchback. It’s the Qashqai that accounts for by far the greatest chunk of its numbers.
Rolls-Royce is renowned for its luxury cars, and it continues to lead the way when it comes to personalisation and craftsmanship. It has a site near Chichester, West Sussex, where all its cars is made. Rolls-Royce also started building its first electric car, the Spectre, last year.
Suzuki is one car firm that many will not know produces a car in the UK, though it’s really a rebadged Toyota. Known as the Swace, it’s a hybrid estate car based on the Corolla and is made at a factory in Burnaston, near Derby.
Stellantis includes such a broad range of brands that it’s easier to include in one section. The firm produces vans for Citroen, Fiat, Peugeot and Vauxhall at two sites in the UK – one in Luton, and a second in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.
While we’ve acknowledged Toyota already, it’s the firm’s ‘own’ Corolla that accounts for the majority of production at the Derbyshire factory. The firm made 122,193 models there in 2023, including Corollas in both a hatchback and estate car layout.