Financial News

  • 22 August 2014, 7:24

UK Car Export Values 'Double In A Decade'

The resurgence of the UK's car industry has notched up another milestone - with export values more than doubling over the past decade.

Industry figures released on Thursday showed that the average car exported was worth over £20,600 today compared to £10,200 in 2004.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reported a 2.9% increase in cars made for export last month, taking the export market for the period since 2010 to the five million mark.

Wider car manufacturing also accelerated last month, with 132,570 cars made in the UK in July - a 2.8% rise on the figure for July 2013.

Last month's total took the year-to-date figure to 923,884 - a 3.4% increase on the total for the first seven months of last year.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "This is testament to the burgeoning reputation of UK automotive excellence and demand for British-made cars.

"Significantly, UK car export values have doubled over the past decade - reflecting the diversity of the products we make and proving the sector's worth as a global investment opportunity."

The country's car industry accounts for 10% of total UK export of goods and its contribution to the recovery in manufacturing output has been significant, given efforts to rebalance the UK's economy in the wake of the financial crisis.

Exports have been on the rise again this year following several years of falling demand in the euro area - with China among the countries seeing high demand for high-value vehicles from UK manufacturers, including Jaguar Land Rover.

Mr Hawes told Sky News: "The UK couldn't compete with low-cost countries in terms of huge volume manufacturing so by focussing on more premium products, with high value-added content and high engineering levels, it really ensures that the UK is competitive globally."

John Leech, head of automotive for the auditor KPMG, said of the figures: "UK car production continues to climb steadily, a trend we expect to continue for the next three years bolstered by exciting new launches such as the Jaguar XE and the new Vauxhall Astra.

"The figures show the price of cars exported by the UK has doubled in the past decade underlining how the UK has successfully moved up the value-chain to become predominantly a producer of luxury cars and higher-priced volume cars such as the Nissan Qashqai crossover.

"Other Western European countries will be looking enviously at the UK as these vehicles provide a stable and profitable platform giving suppliers the confidence to invest, which they are doing."

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