Analysts believe that the UK might surpass France and become the second largest automotive manufacturer in Europe by 2018.

“All the indications appear to be saying yes Britain will be second in a few years,” said Tim Abbott, managing director of German carmaker BMW’s UK operations. “It will be about the demand for the cars made in the UK but that looks to be there judging by the recent performance of the likes of Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and BMW.”

In 2012, the UK manufactured 1.5 million vehicles compared with 1.9 million units in France, according to ACEA. But volumes in France begin to slip due to slowing sales at Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroen. Abbott added that output from the 8 plants in the UK could reach 2 million by 2018, surpassing the record of 1.92 million units set in 1972.

Nissan is also operating almost at full capacity at its plant in Sunderland in north east England and BMW’s Mini plant in Oxford, south England continues to increase thanks to demand for the British-manufactured vehicles.

“You could see it happening (UK overtaking France) if UK plants are at full capacity, which they are not far off being,” said Nissan’s executive vice president Andy Palmer.



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