The UK has overtaken France as the world’s eighth largest manufacturer.

Although the UK slipped behind France in the rankings in 2018, Make UK’s ‘Manufacturing – The Facts’ report finds that in 2021 – the last year for which global comparisons are available – UK output climbed to US$272bn, ahead of France’s $262bn.

UK manufacturing was valued at £224bn in 2022, according to separate Office for National Statistics (ONS) data.

Within Europe, the UK remains behind Germany and Italy, which are the world’s fourth and seventh largest manufacturers.

China remains top of the rankings, with output valued at $4.9trn, according to the Manufacturer. The US follows in second place ($2.5trn) with Japan in third ($995bn).

In further good news for UK business, BMW is set to announce that it will invest £600m to upgrade its Oxford factory for the production of electric Mini Cooper cars.

The investment will be supported by £75m in taxpayer funds and is promoted by the government as a vote in confidence in the UK economy.

The news marks a U-turn from the German automotive giant. It had previously said it would cease producing electric vehicles in Cowley near Oxford, leaving the factory there reliant on the production of petrol cars. BMW has committed to phasing out petrol car production by 2030.

The automotive industry continues to press the UK and EU to negotiate an easement on electric vehicle tariffs, with new rules of origin requirements set to be introduced from the start of next year, under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.