Data from the Motorsport Industry Association’s (MIA) latest Motorsport Business Survey (2011/12), shows this UK industry enjoying increased output, increasing investment in research and development (R&D) and an upturn in job opportunities for skilled engineers and apprentices alike.
Of those that had seen an increase in sales turnover, more than 10% saw a rise of over 50% compared to the previous financial year. Over half of UK motorsport engineering companies reported having higher value future-order books, year on year.
The report also confirmed that 17% of motorsport engineering companies invest over 30% of their turnover on R&D, and 25% of businesses invest between 15 and 30%.
Alex Burns, CEO of Williams F1, which has diversified into low carbon technologies and Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems in recent years, said: “Our decision to exploit our assets more widely, by diversifying into other sectors, particularly low carbon, have significantly improved the security and strength of our business plans. We look forward to 2013 with cautious optimism.”
Chris Aylett, chief executive of the MIA, commented: “Our report shows that the world-beating UK motorsport industry is in rude health, with great future prospects. We’re seeing a growing appreciation, across the globe, of our pre-eminence in the field of high performance engineering, and for the quick-turnaround solutions demanded by the worldwide motorsport industry. A fast-growing number of these outstanding UK manufacturers are expanding, by exploiting their assets to the full, and diversifying into new markets such as mainstream automotive and defence. Transferable skills from motorsport include rapid prototyping, lightweight, low carbon, energy efficient solutions, and R&D based innovations which are in high demand.”
However, when asked to identify the two main threats facing their motorsport businesses, respondents cited ongoing economic uncertainty and lack of local skilled technicians and engineers as the key factors.