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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 March 2007, 23:20 GMT
Global car industry: James Docherty
James Docherty
Name: James Docherty
Age: 27
Lives: Newcastle, UK
Works: Engineer

I think it's a great time to be in the car industry in the UK. And I know other graduate engineers think the same.

It's true that many cars and parts will be made in other parts of the world where labour is cheaper, like eastern Europe.

But the complex parts and hi-tech manufacture will still be done here.

I have been in the automotive engineering sector for five years and both companies I have worked for - TRW and Cummins - have had excellent sales.

People in the UK don't want dirty jobs any more
And neither has threatened to close factories or move to eastern Europe or China.

In fact, our company has just opened a technical centre in Beijing and our UK plant currently supplies engines for the Chinese bus market.

Unfortunately, we have seen the collapse of the British carmakers.

As long as there is a market for cars, products will be made in the UK

But if you look at Rover, for example, the problem was they weren't producing new cars quick enough. Their best-selling design was 15 years old.

They were churning out the same old cars with different interiors.

Meanwhile, Honda and Toyota were making new cars every couple of years.

The Big Three in the US have had the same problem. They've just taken too long to develop new cars.

Of course, it is horribly upsetting when blue-collar jobs go abroad because of these changes.

But unfortunately, it's inevitable.

India and China have huge resources and manpower. Workers there just want to work. They don't demand 25 days of holiday a year. It's just cheaper to make cars over there.

People in the UK don't want dirty jobs any more anyway. If you opened all the mines tomorrow, would people go and work there?

And as long as there is a market for cars, products will be made in the UK - even if they are not for British manufacturers.

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