skip to main content
What Brexit? UK goods lift manufacturers report a surge in demand from the automotive industry

What Brexit? UK goods lift manufacturers report a surge in demand from the automotive industry


Last month, news broke that Toyota is to invest £240M into its car plant in Derbyshire. This was a major boost for the automotive industry after Britain’s vote to leave the EU. The Japanese carmaker will upgrade the plant in Burnaston with new equipment, technology and systems with the help of £21.3M from the government.

In addition, the London Taxi Company has opened a new state-of-the-art automotive factory in Britain to build its new 2018 plug-in hybrid cab. The site in Ansty, Coventry, is claimed to be the UK’s first dedicated electric vehicle manufacturing facility and it’s also the first all-new car factory to be built here for more than a decade. The owners have spent more than £300M on the project, which will create 1000 new jobs, including 200 engineers.

Manufacturers invest big in the UK automotive sector 

Toyota and the London Taxi Company aren’t the only companies investing big in the automotive sector the UK. McLaren has confirmed plans to build its first factory outside the Woking facility. The new Composites Technology Centre will be built in Sheffield, Yorkshire, as part of a £50M investment. This means that the lightweight carbon fibre elements of McLaren supercars will no longer be made in Austria, with production switching to the north of England by 2020. Construction of the 7000m² factory starts this spring and a total of 200 new jobs will be created, according to McLaren.

A booming luxury car market

Indeed, the supercar and luxury automotive market is booming as many of the world's wealthy are taking advantage of the fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote by buying luxury cars in the UK. Just released, Porsche’s annual results for 2016 are staggering. The sports car specialist sold 238,000 vehicles over the course of the year. Thanks to a range of new products, especially soft-roaders such as the Macan, (which now accounts for around 40% of sales) Porsche posted an operating profit of €39 billion, up 14% on 2015.

A surge in goods lifts sales across the automotive sector

It’s not then surprising that suppliers to the UK automotive sector are seeing a surge in sales and that’s certainly true of lifting equipment suppliers providing mechanical handling products for car workshops, factories and showrooms across the UK.

Workshops at car dealerships, used for servicing and repair work, are typically equipped with mezzanine floors to maximise the usable space within the facility for the storage of spare parts. Moving goods between floors when accepting deliveries needs to be done quickly and safely, to ensure the dealerships continue to meet tight deadlines for their growing number of service and maintenance jobs.

The automotive sector’s leading goods lift supplier

UK based lifting equipment manufacturer Penny Hydraulics Ltd, are the leading manufacturer of goods lifts for the automotive sector and are the chosen supplier of lifts to the major vehicle manufacturers including, BMW, VW, Jaguar and Ferrari. The company are also the chosen goods lift partner to some of the largest car dealership chains in the UK, including the Jardine Motors Group.

Typically, Penny Hydraulics are contacted directly from the manufacturers or dealership to specify and install a goods lift. From time to time, the goods lift installation forms part of a larger project, such as a complete dealership refurbishment, in which case Penny Hydraulics work in conjunction with a mezzanine floor company, warehouse fit-out company, or, in the case of a recent goods lift installation at a UK Jaguar dealership, in conjunction with a storage solutions company such as Link 51 who are experienced in providing pallet racking, shelving & lockers to the automotive sector. A project completed in this way offers a turn-key solution for the customer and is a stress-free way of handling a larger project.

Goods lifts for the automotive sector come in various shapes and sizes!

When a goods lift is required, it’s standard practice for a Penny Hydraulics engineer to conduct a free of charge site survey. The engineers have many years’ experience specifying goods lifts and typically offer assistance specifying the right lift for the job in hand. Goods lifts for the automotive sector come in all shapes and sizes and offer varying carrying capacities dependant on the application.

MezzLift: A goods lift for car workshops, dealerships, assembly plants and showrooms

For transporting goods between ground level and a mezzanine floor, the MezzLift range of goods lifts are unrivalled. The vertical platform lifts are hydraulically powered for quick, safe and reliable operation and offer a working capacity of up to 1000kg…perfect for moving all those car engines! Mezzanine floor goods lifts enable users to move goods alone, or on crates, trolleys or pallets safely and efficiently between ground level and up to 3 mezzanine floors. This type of goods lift suits numerous requirements and applications within the automotive sector; from workshops in car dealerships, to car assembly plants and even car showrooms.

Sytner Group choose the MezzPro

Penny Hydraulics are the chosen mezzanine floor lift supplier to the Sytner Group, who have over 140 dealerships across the UK. In 2016, Sytner Group became the UK's largest motor dealer by revenue, employing over 7500 people and retailing over 135,000 cars per annum. The MezzLift model supplied at Sytner Group dealerships is called the MezzPro.

The MezzPro has a maximum working load of 500kg and is enclosed in a self-supporting mesh shaft. The platform is typically sized at 1500mm x 1500mm for automotive applications and protective safety guards are supplied at 900mm high on the three non-loading edges of the platform. A trolley stop barrier is added on the loading edge of the platform to stop delivery trolleys moving on the platform when in transit.

Supplied as standard: Goods lift safety features

At the entrance to the lifts at the top level, 2000mm high mesh gates are supplied. Electrical interlocks are fitted on the gates to prevent them from being opened unless the platform is docked at the appropriate level. The interlocks also prevent the lift being operated unless all gates are closed at both levels.

Fire rated cladding is fitted around the lifts at the lower level and to power the lifts, a 2.2kw, 415 volt, three-phase and neutral supply is required, terminated in an isolator at the lower level. The lifts are controlled via a hold to run, push button control station adjacent to the gates at both levels.

The UK’s leading goods lift manufacturer

Being the leading manufacturer of goods lifts for the automotive industry in the UK, Penny Hydraulics manufacture all their lifts for mezzanine floors at their UK purpose built facility. Having goods lifts manufactured in the UK has many benefits, including, high quality build standards, the ability to design and manufacture bespoke items and short lead times, which means that lifts are manufactured within 6 weeks.

Penny’s rapid installation service also ensures that goods lifts are installed within a maximum time period of just two days, which means minimal levels of disruption to car production, maintenance and sales. A “cradle to grave” philosophy when it comes to all lifting equipment supplied by Penny’s, means that the company’s nationwide network of after-sales service engineers, ensure the necessary statutory inspections are carried out in accordance with Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER).

The benefits of mezzanine floor goods lifts to the automotive sector

The benefits of mechanical handling are wide-ranging and include increased productivity and worker safety due to a reduction in unnecessary manual handling, or working at height. After-sales Manager Simon Westby at Chandlers BMW in Worthing comments on the goods lift project at his dealership as he states, “From start to finish the staff were attentive and helpful…I anticipate that the lift will be an excellent addition to our business efficiency.”

Are you working in the automotive sector and in need of a goods lift? If so, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Penny Hydraulics team today for a quotation, or simply to ask some advice.

Subscribe to our mailing list