A new survey from accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP reveals 85% of the automotive industry is positive about growth in 2015.
The survey, carried out in conjunction with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), looked at the issues that mattered most to the institute’s automotive industry members.
According to the survey, new opportunities are likely to come from export markets, with 86% of respondents identifying international sales as a key area for growth.
Rick Wilson, partner at BDO LLP in Nottingham, said: “The optimism of the automotive industry signals strong momentum for what is a key component of the East Midland’s manufacturing sector.
“Of the respondents surveyed in the East Midlands, sentiment was overwhelmingly positive with no negative projections for the year ahead. International development is the guiding principle for growth in this sector. It is reassuring that the majority of firms recognise this and have a vision for global expansion.”
The region’s biggest employer is Rolls Royce, and the East Midlands is also home to major brands including Toyota, TJ Brookes and Alstom Aerospace.
These key companies are supported by the thousands of businesses in their supply chain, which have helped manufacturing to become the East Midland’s most dominant sector.
The sector’s reputation for being world class innovators was further supported by respondents underlining their commitment to research and development. Half of companies interviewed in the East Midlands confirmed they continue to re-invest a percentage of their annual turnover on research and development; which mirrors the national results, where 53% of automotive firms in the UK said this was the case.
However, over half (59%) felt the government isn’t currently doing enough to increase entrants into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects to support the industry.
Rick added: “It is essential that companies in the region continue to invest in R&D to maintain their position on an increasingly competitive world stage. The government also has its part to play and must do everything it can to support the sector’s export drive and ensure that its support for the industry is well promoted and understood.”