Lloyds: Overseas competition biggest threat to UK automotive sector

Almost half (49%) of automotive manufacturers told Lloyds they viewed overseas competition as one of the sector’s biggest challenges.

Lloyds: Overseas competition biggest threat to UK automotive sector

The issue overtook overtaken the condition of the global economy as the challenge cited most by UK firms.

Just a third (35%) of automotive businesses said the global economy was the biggest challenge facing the industry this year, compared with more than two fifths (43%) in 2015.

A third (34%) also think that having more competitive exports due to the weakness of the pound is one of the sector’s biggest opportunities, according to Lloyds Bank’s third annual survey of the UK automotive manufacturing sector and its supply chain.

Almost two thirds (60%) of UK automotive manufacturers say a lack of knowledge is the biggest barrier holding them back from achieving their export ambitions, the research found.

Two fifths (40%) cited cash flow or the availability of funding as a barrier to investing in international trade, down slightly from 44% a year ago.

David Atkinson, head of manufacturing at Lloyds Banking Commercial Banking and report co-author, said: “Changes seen over the past year are bringing new challenges but also different opportunities for the automotive sector, and it’s good to see firms recognising both.

“But what is worrying is the fact that a lack of knowledge is still holding businesses back.