Workers on Nissan's Sunderland production lineWorkers on Nissan's Sunderland production line


Number of car buyers looking for UK-built models is on the rise

3 months ago

New research has revealed that the number of in-market car buyers likely to consider a car built in the UK has grown since the latest lockdown was announced. 

Exclusive data from What Car?, which spoke to 2949 car buyers, found 44 per cent of respondents were more likely to consider UK-built cars.

This figure is up by five per cent since July last year and those respondents said this was down to the latest lockdown.


Even more people at 47 per cent said where a car is manufactured is an important factor for them when choosing their next car.

Furthermore, 62 per cent said they were concerned about the future of the UK’s automotive manufacturing sector and 70 per cent believe the government should be doing more to protect it.

This follows the news that UK car manufacturing was down 29.3 per cent in 2020, the worst year on record since 1984, and the announcement that GKN Automotive would shut its factory in Birmingham.

Recent new from PSA has also cast doubt over the future of Vauxhall’s plant in Ellesmere Port.


There has been positive manufacturing news from Nissan, however, which has chosen to build a battery plant in Sunderland.

Rachael Prasher, managing director, of What Car? said: ‘The concept of ‘Buying British’ has gained momentum in recent months, amplified by lockdown and against a backdrop of the Brexit negotiations.

‘However, it seems that it is being mainly driven by genuine and widespread concerns for the long-term health of Britain’s manufacturing industry – and wider economy – in the face of both the pandemic and wholesale change.’

The results of a survey conducted for Car Dealer by What Car? were also revealed today, showing that 12.5 per cent of consumers shopping in the most recent lockdown were offered a test drive.

Find out what car dealers think about offering test drives in Lockdown 3

Rebecca Chaplin

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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