Contrary to what some people may think or say – the British car manufacturing industry is in pretty good shape. Every 20 seconds, a brand new vehicle rolls off the production line somewhere in Britain.
Last year, Britain built more cars than France, and one single plant, Nissan Sunderland, made more cars than the whole of the Italian car industry put together.
Meanwhile, seven out of 10 Formula 1 teams are based in Britain, including Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes, Lotus, Williams, Force India and Manor (Marussia).
And the UK doesn’t just make cars, they also build engines – one in three Fords sold globally in 2014 had their engine built in either Bridgend or Dagenham.
Building Cars Live is a new two-part documentary that takes viewers into the fascinating world of the car manufacturing industry, with presenters James May, Kate Humble and Ant Anstead. The show will be broadcasting live from one of Britain’s biggest and busiest car factories.
The trio will go behind the scenes to reveal the science, engineering and people that keep us on the road, with access to all areas of BMW’s MINI plant in Oxford, the oldest car manufacturing site in Europe, with production dating back over 100 years, where a car is built every 67 seconds, which is less time than it takes to boil a kettle.
In the first episode, James makes friends with an army of diligent robots and busts the myth that British manufacturing is dead. Kate heads to Norway to discover why the electric car is king of the Norwegian road and Ant explores the history and heritage of one of the most iconic cars ever built. With access all areas live on the factory floor, the team will see exactly how a car is born – a car that tomorrow will be driven off the line ready for life on the open road.