14 Top British Car Brands [As Of 2024]

With a legacy spanning over twelve decades, British car brands have left an indelible mark on the global automotive industry, consistently delivering luxuries and performance-oriented vehicles. 

In the last three years, car companies in the UK have shown impressive growth. According to SMMT (short for Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders), the country produced 1,025,474 vehicles in 2023, marking a 17% increase from the previous year. [1] 

Of these total vehicles, 905,117 were passenger cars, and 120,357 were commercial vehicles. About 77.1% of these vehicles were exported to other countries. 

Driving this success are the top British car brands, each with its own unique identity and contribution to the industry. We have featured 14 of those, talking about what makes them stand out and how they’re doing in business.

Did you know? 

The automotive sector represents nearly 2% of the UK’s gross domestic product. Just the sales of used cars alone are worth over $130 billion, and by 2027, it’s expected to grow to over $226 billion. [2] 

9, Lotus

Lotus Evija

Founded in 1948
 Ownership: Geely Holding (51%), Etika Automotive (49%)
Production Output: 6,970 units (2023)
Annual Revenue: $679 million (2023)

Lotus is known for its expertise in chassis dynamics, with innovations such as the use of monocoque construction and active suspension systems to optimize handling and performance. 

One of its most popular models, Elise, epitomizes the brand’s lightweight, minimalist approach to sports car design. Soon after its launch in 1996, it became an instant classic and remains a benchmark for driving purity.

In recent years, the company has embraced electric propulsion with the introduction of its all-electric hypercar Evija. 

In 2023, they sold 6,970 vehicles, making $679 million in revenue with a 15% gross margin. Of these, 63% were BEV models. Their first lifestyle BEV, Eletre, did great in the market, leading to increased production and sales in the latter half of the year. [3]

8. McLaren

Founded in 1963
Ownership: McLaren Group
Production Output: 5,000+ units (2023)
Annual Revenue: $677 million+ (2022)

McLaren’s heritage in motorsport dates back to the mid-1960s. The company has achieved remarkable success in Formula 1 racing, securing several Constructors’ Championships and Drivers’ Championships,

One of its notable models,  the McLaren Senna, is named after legendary Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna. It is a track-focused hypercar designed to push the boundaries of what’s possible in a road-legal car. 

In 2023, they introduced the McLaren Solus GT. Its 5.2L V10 engine delivers 650 N⋅m at 10,000 RPM. This car can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 2.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 322 km/h. Only 25 units of this model will be produced. [4]

In 2022, McLaren sold 2,188 vehicles. Among these, 947 were sold in North America and 517 in Europe. In the first half of 2023, they experienced impressive growth, selling 1,292 vehicles. This marks a 52% increase compared to the same period in 2022. [5]

7. Jaguar

Introduced in 1933
Parent: Tata Motors
Production Output: 40,000+ units (2022)

Jaguar’s legacy is deeply connected to a tradition of elegance and sophistication, as evident in iconic models like the Jaguar E-Type. From the graceful lines of its early sedans to the sleek curves of its modern SUVs, Jaguar’s design language radiates refinement and class.

In 2013, they merged with Land Rover to form Jaguar Land Rover. Since then, they have focused on expanding their model range to include a lineup of luxury SUVs, including the Jaguar F-Pace and E-Pace. 

The company is also heavily investing in electric propulsion technology. They plan to electrify their entire lineup by 2025, with a roadmap that includes the introduction of new electric models as well as the transition of existing models to electric powertrains. [6]

In 2023, Jaguar sold 8,348 vehicles in the United States, a slight decrease from the 9,668 units sold in 2022. The top-selling models in the country were the Jaguar F-Pace, F-Type, and E-Pace. [7]

6. Land Rover

Founded in 1948
Parent: Tata Motors
Production Output: 431,000+ units (Jaguar Land Rover) 
Annual Revenue: $24.5 billion+ (2023)

Land Rover has long been intertwined with ruggedness, off-road capability, and luxury. They have an impressive history of innovation in off-road technology, with features like permanent four-wheel drive, adjustable air suspensions, and advanced traction control systems. 

In the past decade, the company has expanded its model range to include a diverse lineup of SUVs, including Defender, Discovery, Range Rover Velar, and Evoque. 

As of 2023, Land Rover held a 0.43% share in the US automobile market. During that year, they sold 66,039 units, with the Land Rover Defender accounting for 15,733 units and the Land Rover Range Rover for 12,999 units. [8]

Globally, they achieved impressive sales figures, totaling 431,733 vehicles in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024. This includes both Jaguar and Land Rover cars, marking a significant 22% increase from the previous year. [9]

5. Aston Martin

New Aston Martin Valour

Founded in 1913
Ownership: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Yew Tree Overseas Limited
Production Output: 6,620 units  
Annual Revenue: $1.75 billion (2023)

From the iconic Astron Martin DB5, featured in James Bond movies, to modern masterpieces like the Vantage and DB11, Aston Martin’s design continues to captivate enthusiasts and collectors worldwide. 

The DB series, including iconic models such as DB5 and DB6, represents timeless design and refined craftsmanship. The Vantage, on the other hand, is a modern interpretation of the classic British sports car, combining incredible performance with daily usability. 

As for market performance, Astron Martin’s sales figures have been steadily increasing, with strong demand from North America and Europe. 

In the financial year 2023, the company sold 6,620 vehicles, making $1.75 billion in revenue. The EBITDA and net cash flow stood at $330 million and $158 million, respectively. [10]

In the same year, Aston Martin partnered with Lucid Motors to develop electric motors for the next generation of supercars. [11]

4. Rolls-Royce

Founded in 1906
Ownership: BMW
Production Output: 6000+ units 

Rolls-Royce has set the standard for automotive excellence for over a century. It is known for its uncompromising commitment to craftsmanship and attention to detail, meticulous hand-finishing, and extreme customization options available to buyers. 

Rolls-Royce excels in creating a serene and tranquil driving environment. They achieve this by using advanced sound insulation, suspension systems, and acoustic engineering that ensures whisper-quiet interiors.

In 2023, the company delivered 6,032 cars to over 50 countries, with the Cullinan being the most sought-after model, closely followed by the Ghost. 

Since 2003, Rolls-Royce has contributed over $5 billion to the UK economy, now averaging more than $625 million per year. They have also created job opportunities for over 2,500 people in the country, including 180 new positions in 2023 alone. [12]

Moreover, Rolls-Royce has announced that by 2030, their entire lineup will be fully electric. 

3. Bentley

Founded in 1919
Ownership: Volkswagen AG
Production Output: 13,560 units (2023) 
Annual Revenue: $1.25 billion+ 

Bentley manufactures a range of luxury sedans and grand tourers, combining unparalleled comfort with exhilarating performance. From the classic Bentley Blower to the modern Bentley Continental GT, their vehicles exude elegance and timeless style. 

In 2023, Bentley achieved its third-highest annual sales record, selling 13,560 cars. The SUV Bentayga led the sales, representing 44% of total sales. [13]

Bentley’s largest market for hybrid vehicles is in the UK, where nearly one in four Bentayga and Flying Spur customers opt for the hybrid option.

In terms of financial performance, Bentley reported revenue of $1.25 billion for the twelve months ending March 2024, a 10% increase from the previous year. The gross profit for the same period reached $0.99 billion, an 11.4% increase from the previous year. [14]

2. Mini

Founded in 1959
Ownership: BMW
Production Output: 295,400 units (2023) 
Annual Revenue: $5.6 billion (2022)

Mini revolutionized the automotive industry with its innovative transverse engine layout, go-kart-like handling, and space-saving design. Its compact dimensions and distinctive styling made it a favorite among celebrities, artists, and fashion icons. 

Its most popular model, The Mini Cooper, offers a perfect blend of retro styling and contemporary performance. In 2022 alone, more than 20,000 Mini Coopers were sold in the United States. 

The overall sales have remained constant in the past few years. In 2023, Mini sold 295,474 vehicles, of which 15.3% were electric vehicles and 20.8% were plug-in hybrids. [15]

1. MG Motor

Founded in 1924
 Ownership: SAIC Motor
Production Output: 840,000+ units (2023)

With roots tracing back to the mid-1920s, MG Motor has evolved into a modern manufacturer of stylish and affordable vehicles. 

In 2007, MG Motor was acquired by the Shanghai-based, state-owned carmaker SAIC Motor. Since then, they’ve prioritized enhancing safety, connectivity, and convenience. Today, MG vehicles provide a seamless driving experience, with features like smartphone integration and advanced driver assistance systems.

The company has expanded its presence in key global markets, including China, the UK, Mexico, Australia, and India. Their strategic focus on international growth has led to increased sales and brand recognition. 

Since 2019, MG Motors has been the biggest car exporter from China. In 2023, it sold approximately 840,000 units across the world, with 88% of sales coming from outside China. [16]

Specifically, 99,441 vehicles were sold in China, 81,289 in the UK, 60,128 in Mexico, 58,346 in Australia, and 49,229 in India. [17]

Other Small Car Companies in the UK 

10. Morgan

Founded in 1910
Ownership: Investindustrial
Production Output: 850+ units 

Morgan Motor Company has been crafting hand-built sports cars with timeless design and artisanal craftsmanship since 1909. 

They have a diverse lineup of sports cars, grand tourers, and roadsters catering to a broader range of customers and driving preferences. From the luxurious Aero GT to the retro-inspired 4/4, Morgan has something for every enthusiast. 

The company employs approximately 250 people and produces 850 cars every year, all assembled by hand. [18]

11. Vauxhall

Founded in 1857
Ownership: Stellantis
Production Output: 110,000+ units 

Established in 1857 as a pump and marine engine producer, Vauxhall transitioned to manufacturing cars in 1903 and quickly gained recognition for its reliability and affordability. 

Today, their model range includes the Grandland (compact SUV), Crossland (subcompact crossover SUV), Corsa (supermini), Mokka (subcompact SUV), and Astra (small family car). They also offer high-performance versions of some models under the GSe sub-brand.

In recent years, Vauxhall has been updating its lineup with electric and hybrid powertrains. The Mokka Electric, for example, has become its top-selling electric SUV, with 606 cars registered in January 2024.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Vauxhall sold 10,743 cars and vehicles in the UK in January 2024.

Their Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) market share stood at 9.85%, with 2,416 registrations in January, making Vauxhall the third best-selling LCV manufacturer in the United Kingdom. [19]

12. Noble

Founded in 1999
Ownership: Lee Noble

Noble is a low-production British sports car manufacturer that has earned a reputation for producing exhilarating, performance-focused vehicles, such as the Noble M12 and the Noble M600. 

The Noble M600, in particular, features Volvo twin-turbocharged V8 engine, a 6-speed Graziano gear box, and a carbon fibre body shell. It competes with other supercars in the same segment as the Ferrari F430.

In 2022, the company started production of the M500, the less “extreme” and more affordable version of the M600. It is powered by a 3.5L Ford twin-turbocharged V6 engine that produces 542 horsepower. The interior of the M500 is relatively minimalist compared to its exterior design. [20]

13. Briggs Automotive Company (BAC)

Founded in 2009
Ownership: Neill Briggs and Ian Briggs

Founded by two brothers Neill and Ian Briggs, BAC quickly gained recognition for its track-focused Mono sports car. It features a mid-engine layout, a Formula-style cockpit, and lightweight construction with a power-to-weight ratio of 518 bhp per tonne. 

The company expanded its lineup to include multiple iterations and limited-edition models, catering to different customer preferences and driving needs. From track-focused variants to road-legal versions, BAC offers a Mono for every enthusiast. 

BAC employs 30 people and stays loyal to its British heritage. Out of the 1,250 components used to build the Mono sourced from 100 suppliers, 95% come from the United Kingdom. In fact, 45% of these components are supplied by local companies in Liverpool and the North West region. [21]

14. Lister

Founded in 1954
Ownership: Andrew and Lawrence Whittaker

Lister has produced several iconic models that have left an indelible mark on automotive history. From the Lister Knobbly to the Lister Storm, their vehicles have captivated enthusiasts with their distinctive styling and powerful engines.

The company has been thriving in recent years, expanding its lineup of high-performance sports cars. The introduction of new models like the Lister Thunder and Lister Stealth has sparked renewed interest in the brand.

In 2023, the company achieved $1.61 billion in annual revenue and $50.5 million in profit before tax, compared to $1.53 billion and $49 million in 2022. Plus, they paid a dividend of $12.5 million during the 2023 financial year, in addition to an $18 million dividend paid the previous year. [22]

Read More

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Sources Cited and Additional References

  1. Production data by models, Automotive production in the UK by month, Marklines
  2. Vehicles & Road Traffic, Used car market size in the United Kingdom 2022-2027, Statista
  3. Press Release, Lotus technology reports unaudited fourth quarter and full year 2023 financial results, Lotus Cars
  4. McLaren Solus GT, The Solus GT is the realization of a radical McLaren concept vehicle, McLaren Cars
  5. Investor Relations, Annual report and consolidated financial statements 2022, McLaren
  6. Automotive Dealer News, Jaguar’s electric revolution: Discover the future of luxury cars, Jaguar San Antonio
  7. Brand sales, Monthly and yearly sales figures for Jaguar in the United States, GoodCarBadCar
  8. Brand sales, Monthly and yearly sales figures for Land Rover in the United States, GoodCarBadCar
  9. Investor Relations, JLR full-year sales are up over 20 percent year-on-year reflecting improved production and sustained global demand, JaguarLandRover
  10. Investor Relations, Preliminary results for the twelve months ended 31 December 2023, Aston Martin
  11. Manufacturer Information, Who Owns Aston Martin?, Aston Martin in Houston
  12. Press Release, Historic sales record completes landmark year 2022, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
  13. Press Release, Bentley customers personalize their cars more than ever in 2023, Bentley Media
  14. Investor Relations, Bentley Systems announces fourth quarter and full year 2023 results and 2024 financial outlook, Bentley 
  15. Press Release, Mini drives success in 2023 with sales growth and accelerated electric vehicle adoption, BMW Group
  16. Adrian Leung, IM models to be rebranded as MG for sales in Europe and South America, CarNewsChina
  17. Car sales, MG Sales all over the world, ChinaMobil
  18. Our Story, The Morgan family continues to act as stewards for the company, Morgan Motor Company
  19. Michael Lear, Vauxhall increases sales volume by 48% in latest SMMT figures, Stellantis
  20. Matt Prior, British maker resurfaces with new supercar that matches M600 chassis with Ford V6, Autocar
  21. BAC History, BAC is an equal opportunities workplace that promotes and values diversity, Briggs Automotive Company
  22. Rebecca Chaplin, Listers Group profit doubles to £30m in latest results, CarDealer
Written by
Varun Kumar

I am a professional technology and business research analyst with more than a decade of experience in the field. My main areas of expertise include software technologies, business strategies, competitive analysis, and staying up-to-date with market trends.

I hold a Master's degree in computer science from GGSIPU University. If you'd like to learn more about my latest projects and insights, please don't hesitate to reach out to me via email at [email protected].

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