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Review of the motorsport industry
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The motorsport industry today

It is no coincidence that in the super-fast, ever-changing world of motorsport, the UK is in pole position. A contributory factor is the sheer number of motorsport companies operating out of the UK. Boasting precision engineering and advanced technological skills, it’s no wonder that this expertise is being capitalised upon by mainstream automotive and defence industries. 

We’re also witnessing a rise in the number of other sectors seeking solutions to their performance engineering issues. Not surprisingly, they too are attracted to the competitive, ‘can do’ attitude and rapid production culture embedded within the motorsport industry.


Motorsport Valley® - the hub of leading technology

There are many successful firms supplying the global industry based all over the UK. However, the largest concentration of UK motorsports firms is located within Motorsport Valley®. The name refers to the cluster of firms based around the Midlands and Oxfordshire. These companies supply cutting-edge technology to Formula One and dominate the design and manufacture of components used in the majority of the world’s racing categories today. 


Harnessing that competitive edge

Motorsport Valley® is continually evolving. Having achieved international status, it is recognised the world over as a centre for agile, advanced manufacturing, technological leadership, high level skills and service solutions. 

Automotive OEMs and leading motorsport teams are focused on the development of modern road and racing vehicles and it is Motorsport Valley® that is attracting those firms trying to achieve a competitive advantage. They understand that it is the harnessing of race-bred research and development, rapid prototyping capabilities, high tolerance engineering skills and next generation technology that will get the desired result.

Similarly, firms operating within defence, aerospace, marine and medical instrumentation are also seeing the benefits of turning to the motorsport industry and finding a solution to their engineering issues. In today’s economic climate, gaining advantage over your nearest competitor is crucial to survival.


Review of the UK Motorsport Valley Business Cluster (2013)



In conjunction with Motorsport Research Associates, Department for International Trade and the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, the MIA compiled a review of the UK Motorsport Valley Business Cluster. The review included all available motorsport engineering and services statistics relevant to the industry. 

Motorsport Valley® provides performance engineering solutions and acts as the global hub for the production of performance cars’ chassis, engines, braking, suspension, transmission and telemetry components. Underpinning these world class design and manufacturing businesses is a support services network -  offering specialised legal, financial and insurance capabilities.


Key findings from the Review

  • The industry boasts an annual turnover of £9 billion compared to £4.6 billion in 2000.  
  • Approximately 4,500 companies are actively involved in the UK’s motorsport and high performance engineering industry.
  • Of these 4,500 firms, 87% export their products or services.
  • Motorsport Valley® is a major source of Value Added to the UK economy. Its average R&D spend is 25% of turnover, dwarfing even the UK pharmaceutical and IT industries.
  • The minimum estimated active employment within UK Motorsport is 41,000 (compared to 38,500 in 2000).


The big players want to get involved

The major automotive OEMs seek brand association with Grand Prix racing due to its scale and popularity. Its reach across the globe is unsurpassed. Internationally renowned automotive OEMs such as Jaguar Land Rover, Bentley, Ford, Nissan, Honda, BMW, Volkswagen, Renault and Mercedes Benz have all shown interest in this cluster of highly innovative experts.


Future opportunities

Motorsport also provides the laboratory for future technologies. Its huge investment into advanced technology can be exploited by leading car manufacturers as they expedite a new generation of vehicles. Many motorsport engineering firms (53%) believe energy-efficient, low-carbon technologies will be at the heart of future growth. They indicate that within the automotive, defence and aerospace industries, there is an increasing opportunity to exploit motorsport engineering capabilities; to efficiently bridge the gap between rapid response, specialist prototyping and mainstream commercialisation of low-carbon technologies.

For non-MIA members

You can find out more by downloading a copy of the Highlights from the 2013 Review of the UK Motorsport Valley Business Cluster.

For MIA members

In the Members’ Area, via the Document Archive, you can download the full 2013 Review of the UK Motorsport Valley Cluster.