Britain’s steel and car industries are intertwined like very few others. Back in the dimness of time, the British steel industry had to develop new techniques to make large steel sheets that could be bashed into large car panels for the then-newfangled unibodied cars.
And names like Pressed Steel-Fisher became sole suppliers of car bodies to some of the big names in the UK car industry, such as Rootes and Jaguar. Pressed Steel, in fact, grew to be the biggest provider of car bodies and tooling in the world in the post-WW2 era.
But its grip on the UK market has slipped in more recent times – with pressure from China and competition from alternative materials such as aluminium and carbonfibre.
China, for example, has the capacity to make more than 800 million tonnes of steel a year, compared with the UK’s 12m tonnes.