Automotive

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Motoring is one of England's favourite pastimes. Classic enthusiasts flock to Goodwood Festival of Speed every year and international Formula One motorsport thrives at Silverstone and Donington Park circuits.

British car companies fly the flag, including luxury Bristol and Morgan Cars Ltd and racing brands Catherham Cars Ltd and McLaren Automotive. Eleven global vehicle brands are based in the UK.

The UK automotive industry is a big player in the world arena. We are Europe's second biggest automotive market and export four out of five vehicles produced here. Major plants are based all around England, including the West Midlands (Land Rover and Jaguar), Oxford (BMW), Bristol (Mini) and Newcastle (Nissan). And it's not just cars. Over 40 companies make buses, vans and trucks too.

Leading universities in mechanical engineering are fuelling industry innovation, like Southampton, Loughborough and Sheffield universities. The University of Bath is currently brainstorming with Ford on fuel efficiency.

The government is forging links with the motor industry creating bodies like the Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO), which focuses on investment and the Automotive Council with a panel of major stakeholders.

The future is bright for the industry with a growing global demand for automotive products. China, Russia and the USA currently account for 28 per cent of our exports. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders predicts a 'car boom' by 2015 with over two million vehicles manufactured.

Marvel at Bond movie cars and meet Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and other celebrity cars at corporate events at Beaulieu National Motor Museum in the heart of the New Forest.

Centres of excellence for automotive

Coventry, Warwickshire and Shakespeare's England, Birmingham, Oxford, Hampshire & New Forest, NewcastleGateshead, Northumberland and County Durham, Bristol, Bath, Leicestershire

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