The Great Debate UK

Van-ishing? Do we want to make vans in the UK?


David Bailey- Professor David Bailey works at the Coventry University Business School and has written extensively on globalisation, economic restructuring and industrial policy, with particular reference to the auto industry. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Despite a run down in heavy commercial vehicle production in the UK in recent years, light commercial vehicles are still made in Britain in quite significant numbers.

However, this could easily change over the next few years unless something is done. The seismic changes that have unfolded in the world’s auto markets now threaten to eliminate mass van production in the UK, leaving just small niche production.

Today there are three main producers in the UK: Ford at Southampton, a GM/Renault joint venture at Luton, and LDV in Birmingham. The latter stopped production back in December when the double whammy of credit crunch and recession impacted.