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'Record breaking year' in automotive industry, says Mercedes-Benz HRD

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Employment in the automotive industry has reached almost three-quarters of a million people in 2014, with Mercedes-Benz HR director Catherine Taylor telling HR magazine the company has seen a "record year" within the industry.

Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) this week revealed the automotive industry now employs 731,000 people in the UK. The SMMT Annual Sustainability Report states this is an increase of 44,000 from 12 months previously.

Earlier this year the industry was named as the most attractive sector for employees in the UK. Taylor believes that, in the case of Mercedes, attraction is aided by high-profile sporting events as well as a desire to work for a prestigious brand.

"From our perspective an ever increasing and exciting product range, combined with our strong showing in motorsport, helps to build the engagement around the industry," she said. "It’s important not just to focus on the strength and legacy of our brand but also on the increasing appeal and relevance that it has to a new target audience.”

The automotive industry has provided jobs for several regions across the UK. This year, Infiniti in Sunderland created 1,000 new roles, while Bentley is to add 1,000 jobs in Crewe.

Manufacturing group EEF chief executive Terry Scuoler called upon other areas of UK manufacturing to follow the positive example set by the automotive industry.

"Framed by the industrial strategy and supported by a coherent innovation framework, the automotive sector is now one that the UK can be proud of," he said. "There is nothing to stop this success being replicated in other parts of manufacturing with the creation of further high-value jobs."

Scuoler will represent British manufacturing interests, including the automotive industry, in Brussels, as he was appointed chairman of the Council of European Employers of the Metal, Engineering and Technology-based Industries (CEEMET).