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Cogs turning again in UK manufacturing

Thursday, December 26, 2013 - 02:00

Dec 27 - British companies have been outsourcing production to countries like China and India for years but now a number of UK firms are increasingly 'reshoring' manufacturing operations back home. Ivor Bennett went to find out how it's working for UK car parts maker RDM Group.

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Whirring machinery, cheap labour and speedy production. It sounds familiar, but this isn't China, this is made in Britain. 8 years after outsourcing production, UK car parts maker RDM Group is bringing it back home. Sales director Miles Garner. SOUNDBITE (English) MILES GARNER, SALES AND MARKETING DIRECTOR, RDM GROUP, SAYING: "Labour has increased over the past two or three years, the cost also of transportation as well has increased, around about 100%." The process is known as reshoring, and it's spreading fast. As much as 1 in 7 UK manufacturers brought production back from overseas this year or is in the process of doing so. Model train maker Hornby is one of them. Along with tech firm Raspberry Pi. The findings come from the government's Manufacturing Advisory Service. Director Steven Barr says the trend's being driven by cost, quality and delivery times. SOUNDBITE (English) STEVEN BARR, MAS, SAYING: "So a phrase we've heard quite often is the landing cost. So companies are realising that the overall cost is balancing out quite well and is actually becoming cheaper in many cases when you take all of those factors into account. So that's driving a number of these smaller companies to reshore." RDM Group will bring back half its production over the next two years to a new factory in Coventry, creating 28 new jobs. The city used to be the engine driving Britain's auto industry. Jaguar, Rover, and Triumph were all once here. But it's since been in decline for decades. REUTERS REPORTER IVOR BENNETT, SAYING: "There are signs of the area's past glories all around here. This pub for example, the Humber, is named after the now dormant car maker, that was once the second largest car producer in the UK. And it's that heritage that's proving attractive to not just manufactures, but customers too." Two thirds of the companies that have reshored already have seen sales increase as a result. The made-in-Britain brand helping to drive profits up. The reshoring trend is expected to continue next year, with manufacturers now looking for quality not quantity.

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Cogs turning again in UK manufacturing

Thursday, December 26, 2013 - 02:00