There is a concentration of vehicle manufacturing in the region, which has had a knock-on effect on the concentration of automotive business activity. In 2008 there were around 56,048 employees in the West Midlands automotive retail sector (Labour Force Survey). The region is considered the centre for automotive manufacturing with a significant share of vehicle output. There is a strong presence of volume premium brands and niche vehicle makers in the region. The collapse of MG Rover and the migration of parts of Peugeot have had negative effects on the sector supply chain.
Both the population and the labour force in the West Midlands are projected to increase at similar rates to the UK average over the period to 2014. Gains are expected for female full-time and part-time employees. Projected rates of employment decline are higher for skilled trade occupations in this region compared to the UK average. This is significant for the automotive retail sector as this region accounts for more employment in the sector than any other.
Sources: Automotive Skills SSA Stage 1 – UK 2006a, Automotive Skills SSA Stage 1 – England 2006a and Stephens 2005.