SEARCH launches MBE – Made Better in England – campaign to back British models.

All-British cars may now be in the past, but our motor industry is thriving. And a survey of buyers reveals that two out of three would prefer to buy British-made.

And that’s not hard for them to do. The English car industry is still one of the biggest in Europe – during February alone it turned out almost 146,000 vehicles. Yet despite this, our research shows that most buyers are confused about which makes and models are locally manufactured. Less than half realised that the Honda Civic is built in England, while only one in five knew that Nissan Micras are produced in Sunderland.

The last all-British volume car maker, MG Rover, collapsed three years ago and a Chinese auto manufacturer snapped up what remained. But other British names including Mini, Land Rover, Jaguar, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Lotus and Bentley still roll off the production lines in England. Joining them are the five-door version of the Vauxhall Astra and other top sellers such as the Honda Civic, Nissan Micra and Toyota Avensis. Ford no longer builds complete cars here, but the engines and gearboxes for most of its European models are built at four sites in England and Wales. In all, the UK has 32 car factories. Germany is the only European country that has more.

However, although production has set new records, the industry faces tough times ahead because of the global credit crunch. For that reason, has chosen today – St. George’s Day – to launch its Made Better in England campaign – to raise awareness of which cars are made here, and to persuade buyers to pick locally built models.

To help them do this, has compiled a MBE honours list of English-made cars for every budget – from the Nissan Micra to the Aston Martin.

Vehicle – Made in

1. Nissan Micra  – Sunderland
2. Honda Civic – Swindon
3. Vauxhall Astra – Ellesmere Port
4. Vauxhall Vivaro van – Luton
5. Toyota Avensis – Burnaston
6. Jaguar XF – Castle Bromwich
7. Land Rover Freelander – Solihull
8. Mini Cooper – Oxford
9. Ford Transit – Southampton
10. Aston Martin DB9 – Gaydon, Warwick

Stephen Jury


April 23, 2008

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