At the end of each month on our website we’ll feature a roundup of the news that’s grabbed our attention from across our industry. We might not cover all of our sectors every month, but watch this space!
McLaren’s stellar year bucks industry downward trend
2018 was McLaren’s eighth consecutive year of increasing sales, meaning it bucked the 7% general industry downturn in UK new car sales (as reported by the SMMT). The supercar manufacturer sold 4806 new cars over the year compared to 3340 in 2017.
McLaren’s success is partly due to its growth in foreign markets, with its 570S Spider and 720S models paving the way for 122.5% growth in China in the period, and continued success in its largest market, the US.
However, McLaren also performed well in its home market, selling almost 50% more cars in the UK in 2018 than it did the previous year.
The Woking-based company is a British success story with a number of strands to its growth strategy. Its Track25 plan will see it aim to build 6000 cars a year by 2025 and release 18 new cars, with all mainstream models driven by hybrid powertrains.
F1 2019: New fuel limit could lead to diverse strategies.
A rule change for Formula 1 in 2019 means cars will be able to carry up to 110kg of fuel - the previous upper limit was 105kg - allowing drivers to push harder for longer in races. It is hoped the increased fuel capacity will reduce unpopular fuel conservation tactics.
As a consequence of the new allowance, teams will need to lengthen their fuel tanks, taking up valuable space in the middle of their cars and necessitating a longer wheel base. Constructors now have decisions to make about how and where they adapt, with some quarters suggesting that Mercedes will be unwilling to alter its wheel base while Ferrari is likely to do so.
With 10kg of extra fuel worth about 0.3 seconds per lap, some constructors may choose to race shorter cars with lighter tanks in races that allow for a light-fuel strategy. What’s clear is that 2019 will present constructors with a number of variables they can respond to as they see fit, with the prospect of widely differing team strategies making for an interesting race season.
Manufacturing & Technology
Engineering needs progressive immigration policy
The government’s White Paper on immigration represents the most significant tightening of British immigration policy since the Commonwealth Immigration Act of 1962. Yet the British economy is sustained by non-UK labour including over two million European Economic Area nationals, and millions of overseas individuals. The Royal Academy of Engineering has estimated that the UK needs nearly 200,000 new engineers and engineering technicians a year until 2022 to sustain its infrastructure, construction and engineering sectors – a figure that cannot be sustained solely by home-grown talent.
Furthermore, the project-based nature of much of the work carried out by the engineering sector means that it has a particular need for talent that can be deployed flexibly, rapidly and when needed. Alexander Jan, chief economist at Arup, has urged the government to listen to the need of employers and to adopt an “evidence-based, progressive immigration policy that allows all sectors of the economy to prosper and grow”.
Consumer Electronics Show (CES) presents a feast of tech.
January’s CES, the Consumer Technology Association’s paean to the movers and shakers of new tech, was a hit this year. The Las Vegas-based event is the largest show-and-tell for consumer technology in the world, representing every major or emerging industry and transformative technology such as 5G, AI, AR, VR, smart cities, 8K TV, robotics, wearable health tech, autonomous and electric vehicles and more.
With 4,500 exhibiting companies, over 1,000 speakers and 24 product categories, it has become the marquee technology show. In a sure sign of the changing times, it’s also the new must-attend for movers, shakers and leaders in all things automotive.
Highlights from this year’s CES include a smart toilet, roll-up screen TVs, a smartwatch that doubles as a blood pressure cuff, a treadmill that generates electricity and hand-held devices that analyse skin hydration levels.
But surely nothing says “the future” like Impossible Foods’ fake burger, the vegetarian burger you really, really wouldn’t believe isn’t meat. The company’s mission is to make fake meat taste so good that animals are eliminated as what it calls a “food production technology” by 2035.
Executives and Leaders
More senior hires as Lotus expands
Lotus’ recruitment drive continues apace with more strategic hires reporting to Lotus Cars CEO, Phil Popham. James Andrew joins the company as Director of Communications and PR, having helped establish Influence Associates, the renowned automotive communications agency. Simon Clare has been announced as the firm’s new Global Marketing Director, bringing experience gained at Sunseeker International, Bentley and Jaguar Land Rover. Mr Popham has described the brand as being at “new levels of truly global business”.
You are welcome to speak to us about a variety of new positions available across the company in the UK and internationally. Contact us here.
New report highlights major upturn in graduate hiring.
A major new report on the graduate job market shows the UK’s top employers are increasing graduate vacancies by just over 9% in 2019 – the biggest annual rise in graduate recruitment in nine years.
“The Graduate Market in 2019”, produced by High Flier Research, revealed the median starting salary for new graduates joining the UK’s top 100 leading employers is £30,000. The biggest increases in vacancies are expected at public sector, accounting and professional services and engineering and industrial employers.
The number of paid work experience places available at the UK’s leading graduate employers is expected to increase by 1.8% this year, with more than four-fifths offering paid programmes for students and recent graduates during the 2018-2019 academic year, providing a total of 13,098 places.
Over than a third of recruiters who took part in the research repeated warnings from previous years that graduates with no previous work experience at all are unlikely to be successful during the selection process for graduate programmes.