UK car exports reach record high
The new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that overall production increased 3.9% on 2014, with output at 1,587,677 overtaking pre-recession levels for the first time.
Export production rose 2.7% on 2014 levels to a new record of 1,227,881 units, with an 11.3% increase in demand in Europe helping to compensate for a 37.5% drop in China and a 69.4% fall in volumes for Russia. Europe now accounts for 57.5% of all UK car exports.
Meanwhile in the US, demand rose by more than a quarter (26.5%), making it the UK’s biggest trading destination outside the EU, ahead of China. Meanwhile, notable growth was also seen in Australia, South Korea, Turkey and Japan with volumes up 53.7%, 55.2%, 41.1% and 35.4% respectively.
Within the manufacturing league table, Jaguar Land Rover took the top spot, producing more than 500,000 cars and commercial vehicles at its three vehicle manufacturing plants in Solihull, Birmingham and Liverpool.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Despite export challenges in some key markets such as Russia and China, foreign demand for British-built cars has been strong, reaching record export levels in the past year. Achieving these hard fought for results is down to vital investment in the sector, world-class engineering and a committed and skilled UK workforce – one of the most productive in the world.
“Continued growth in an intensely competitive global marketplace is far from guaranteed, however, and depends heavily on global economic conditions and political stability. Europe is our biggest trading partner and the UK’s membership of the European Union is vital for the automotive sector in order to secure future growth and jobs.”