Why the aftermarket loves British builds

Japanese brands like Honda have good reliability scores
Japanese brands like Honda have good reliability scores

The UK aftermarket has long had a love affair with British built models. While many cars assembled in the UK are destined for export, a significant portion can be seen on British roads and, more importantly, British garages too.

British manufacturing has seen several booms in recent months. The launch and subsequent success of the Range Rover Evoque has helped Jaguar Land Rover to achieve record profits.

It will be spending an additional £1 billion with UK suppliers over the next four years and several aftermarket companies in the UK stand to benefit. Bosal is currently supplying exhausts, for instance, but there are other success stories too.

Unipart has secured valuable supply contracts for the BMW Mini plant in Cowley.

Vauxhall has decided to produce the new Astra at its facility at Ellesmere Port. Nissan is also to build a new hatchback in Sunderland, while Honda has also announced that a second shift has been introduced at its Swindon plant.

This renewed confidence in manufacturing has helped vehicle production to increase by 42.2 percent, according to the SMMT.

It might be considered an in-joke to laugh at how profitable British builds can be to a garage, but many of the statistics don’t lie.

British marques like Land Rover and Jaguar consistently score lowly in reliability surveys. Warranty Direct rated the Range Rover (2002) as the least reliable 4×4 in the UK, with an average repair cost of over £500.

Similarly Land Rover performs badly in the What Car? Reliability Index. Last year the manufacturer came at the very bottom of the list, with statistics revealing Land Rover models had a 55 percent chance of breaking down. Whether this trend continues with the Evoque remains to be seen.

Other British marques don’t fare much better. Jaguar is listed near the bottom of the Reliability Index as well, with a 33 percent chance of developing a problem and average repair costs of almost £400. Rover is placed just above Jaguar, with similar repair costs and similar reliability performance.

Not surprisingly it is the Japanese marques that consistently score highest on reliability, with Honda claiming the top spot on the What Car? Reliability Index, with a problem rate of just 9 percent.

While Honda and Toyota have enviable reputations, Nissan doesn’t fare so well and although the Micra has a good reliability score is ranked 98th on the JD Power survey.

How do you feel about British brands? Are they a help or a hindrance to your business? Let us know in the comments section below.


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