Insider has ranked the big hitters from across the industry in the inaugural Manufacturing 100, with a spread of sectors represented in the top ten. The Midlands’ proud history at the heart of UK manufacturing – making everything from cars and aerospace components to jewellery and packaging – has served it well over the years.
Its pedigree in high-tech engineering is helping the region become an exporting powerhouse with West Midlands overseas trade set to grow three times faster than Germany’s by 2017 and the East Midlands expected to increase trade from £18.7bn to £25.2bn by the same year, a report revealed this week.
It is no surprise, given the size of its operation, that Whitley-headquartered Jaguar Land Rover tops our chart of the top manufacturers ranked by turnover.
JLR’s sales in the year ranked, to March 2012, were £13.5bn, more than double the £6.5bn registered by Redditch’s GKN in second place and beyond the £2.7bn revenue of Rocester digger maker JCB.
And the manufacturer of the Evoque, F-Type and Range Rover has gone on to generate ever larger numbers: £15.8bn turnover in 2012/13, first quarter sales to 30 June 2013 of 95,000 vehicles and £4bn, and a record July.
The figures are being driven by global demand in the US and Asia – especially China.
Toyota and Matlock-based lead specialist Eco-Bat Technologies round off the top five of our new list at fourth and fifth respectively.
The car maker made a £185m investment in the UK in 2012 with the production of the new Auris at its Burnaston factory near Derby. The new Auris Touring Sports state car is also being built at the plant.
This takes Toyota’s UK investment total to more than £2.1bn since it launched its operations here in 1992. The new models are the latest to be produced at the Derby site, where more than 3.25 million cars have been built since operations began.
Our list highlights the prevalence of foreign ownership with GKN and plastic packaging maker Linpac the only businesses in the top ten which has an ultimate parent registered in the UK.
The table also shows the importance of food and drink makers to the regional economy.
Carlsberg’s UK business, sitting in tenth, turned over just shy of £1bn in 2011 with this figure expected to increase following the opening of a new bottling line in Northampton earlier this year.
Samworth Brothers, Marston’s, Weetabix, Adams Foods, Cott Beverages and Thorntons also make a big contribution across the West and East Midlands all figuring in the top 50.