A Statistician's Guide to the UK and Global Motorsport Industries
The UK is in pole position in the super-fast, technology-driven world of motorsport. It has a wealth of motorsport companies whose precision engineering and advanced technology skills are increasingly exploited by the mainstream automotive industry. Increasingly other business sectors seeking solutions to cutting-edge performance engineering issues are attracted by the competitive, ‘can do’ and rapid production culture embedded in this Industry.
The largest concentration of UK motorsport firms is to be found within ‘Motorsport Valley®’, a business cluster located in the centre of the UK, with Oxford at its centre. But the UK is a small country and successful firms supplying the global Industry are to be found throughout, in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These companies supply the leading-edge technology used in Formula One and dominate the design and manufacture of components used in the majority of the world’s racing categories.
Recognised as an unparalleled ‘community of knowledge’, Motorsport Valley® attracts automotive OEMs and leading motorsport teams to harness the race-bred research and development, rapid prototyping capabilities, high-tolerance engineering skills and next-generation technology to find ‘the competitive edge’ for the development of modern road and racing vehicles. Companies from other industry sectors - such as Defence, Marine and Aerospace - have also learned to turn to the motorsport industry when looking to accelerate the solution of their engineering problems and provide competitive advantage over their competitors.
The companies found within this motorsport cluster provide performance engineering solutions and act as a global centre for the production of performance cars’ chassis, engines, braking, suspension, transmission and telemetry components. A supporting services industry offering specialised legal, financial and insurance capabilities, has also built up around these world-class design and manufacturing businesses.
Approximately 4,500 companies are involved in the UK Motorsport and Performance Engineering Industry, boasting an annual turnover of ₤6 billion – of which £3.6 billion exported. As a result, Motorsport Valley® is a major source of value-added to the British economy - its average R&D spend of 30% of turnover dwarfing even the UK Pharmaceutical and IT industries.*
The creative side - involving events management, public relations, marketing, sponsorship and a host of other support functions, accounts for approximately ₤1.7 billion of the yearly Industry total. UK Motorsport supports 38,500 full and part-time jobs, of which 25,000 are qualified engineers.*
In Formula One - the technological pinnacle of world motorsport - all the constructors (with the exception of BMW-Sauber, Ferrari, Toro Rosso and HRT) are based in the UK.
The major automotive OEMs want their brands to be linked with the enormous and popular success of Grand Prix racing, which attracts a vast world-wide audience. They also want to exploit the Motorsport Industry’s huge investment in advanced technology for the development of a new generation of road vehicles - motorsport provides the laboratory for future technologies.