Northamptonshire companies supplying Formula One and other global motorsport series are helping buck the economic trend after posting large sales increases over the last year.
Latest figures from the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) show nearly 60 per cent of UK engineering companies supplying the likes of Formula One, the World Touring Car Championship and NASCAR saw an increase in sales over the last financial year.
Most of the companies who responded to the Motorsport Business Survey 2011-12 are located in the UK’s ‘Motorsport Valley’, which includes Northamptonshire and other neighbouring counties.
These include the likes of engine manufacturer Cosworth.
The survey also showed that 17 per cent of motorsport engineering companies invested more than 30 per cent of their turnover on research and development, and 56 per cent of companies had increased their headcount during 2011-12.
Chris Aylett, chief executive of the MIA, commented: “Our report, the only one of its kind, 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 and energy efficient solutions, which are in high demand.
“The UK motorsport industry is clearly bucking the pessimistic trend in manufacturing, but there remains frustration with some government inaction which holds back growth. Specifically, endless red tape, lack of a coherent growth strategy and of bank finance were identified as barriers to future rapid progress.”