Brompton Bicycles – backing Britain
While ‘British Creativity’ gets praised to the heavens, many of us suspect that our best ideas still get exported somewhere else in the world to get manufactured. However, there was an interesting piece in The Daily Telegraph this week in which the MD of Brompton Bicycles explained that making his product in the UK had its advantages – “The Asian market and the Germans love British products.” And having the manufacturing in close proximity to ‘where the ideas are’ is also an advantage. Even the high cost of operating out of London has an advantage: “It forces you to be clever.”
The big issue for Brompton has been recruiting new design engineers, with a decreasing number of Brits choosing careers in this sector. To this end, the ‘Make it in Great Britain’ exhibition currently running at the Science Museum is intended to show that we Brits make more than most of us think, and hopefully if a new generation of engineers come along, we could make more. On the back of Olympic euphoria, might this be a good moment to have a little more confidence in our abilities and opportunities?