Just thank the great cars we make (and the economy)

This country still dominates the top-end with products from likes of Land Rover, Jaguar, Bentley, Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce

Share
Related Topics

So, why all the good news? First, pure economics. The pound is cheap internationally, and as a result our exports of all manner of goods and services are much more competitive than they would otherwise be. The car industry is particularly sensitive to movements in the exchange rate, so this matters.

And why is sterling so low? Largely because of the Bank of England’s policy of ultra-low interest rates. Unlikely as it may seem, every car worker in the country owes a considerable debt to Mervyn King, Mark Carney and the rest of the crew on the cash production line at Threadneedle Street. Second is the car-buying cycle. Most of our major markets were depressed artificially after the financial crisis in 2008. The scrappage scheme stimulated things a bit, and brought some sales forward, but many firms and individuals decided to soldier on for a year or two longer, rather than face the capital expenditure of new vehicles.

Now, though, the fleets are replacing older cars that are becoming expensive to maintain, and private buyers are also more confident. So that has helped, though the effect will wear off naturally.

Third is simply the quality, variety and attractiveness of contemporary British car design and technology. This country still dominates the top-end with products from the likes of Land Rover, Jaguar, Bentley, Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce; we produce class-competitive cars such as the Vauxhall Astra, Honda Civic, Nissan Qashqai and Toyota Auris in factories here; and the Mini remains the greatest reinvention of an original in motoring history.

As is well known, the  industry is now foreign-owned, but no matter: if German, Japanese, Indian and American firms can help our economy rebalance and create jobs, and  we can make a better living for ourselves in the world as a result, we shouldn’t complain.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station  

General Election 2015: Despite all the seeming cynicism, our political system works

Ian Birrell
Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameron appeal to the audience during the Question Time special  

General election 2015: Not voting makes you responsible for the worst that follows

Yasmin Alibhai Brown
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk