Source: LONDON, Jan. 26, 2017/PRNewswire
- 1.7 million cars built in the UK in 2016, an increase of 8.5% and the highest output for 17 years.
- Exports at record levels for the second consecutive year as more than 1.35 million cars shipped worldwide.
- More than one in two cars exported to the EU, our single biggest trading partner, with demand up 7.5%.
- China remains UK Automotive’s third biggest export destination as demand bounces back 3.1%.
UK car production achieved a 17-year high in 2016, according to the latest figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 1,722,698 vehicles rolled off production lines last year from some 15 manufacturers, an 8.5% uplift on total production 2015 – and the highest output since 1999.
More cars are now being exported from Britain than ever before, the result of investment made over recent years in world-class production facilities, cutting-edge design and technology and one of Europe’s most highly skilled and productive workforces.
Ten brand new car models began production in the UK last year, nine of them from premium brands which has helped make the UK the second biggest producer of premium cars in Europe, after Germany and the third biggest car producer.
Production growth was predominantly driven by overseas demand, with global appetite for British-built cars rising by 10.3% to an all-time high of 1,354,216 – a second consecutive annual record. Around eight out of every 10 cars manufactured in the UK is now exported, bound for one of 160 markets worldwide.
China, the world’s largest car market, remained the UK’s third biggest trading partner after the EU and US, with demand growing 3.1% after falling 37.5% the previous year. Almost 90,000 Chinese car buyers chose British brands in 2016 – all of them from the premium sector. Meanwhile, notable uplifts were also seen in US, Japan, Turkey and Canada.
Continuing economic recovery across Europe accounted for the bulk of the UK’s car export growth, with production for the continent boosted by 7.5% to 758,680. The region not only accounts for more than half of UK car exports, but supplies the majority of the components fitted to them, underlining the critical importance of the tariff and barrier-free trade to the future of UK automotive production.
Domestic demand for UK built cars also grew last year, up 2.4% in the year, and the UK remains the second largest car market in Europe, again after Germany. One in seven new cars registered by UK buyers is now made in Britain, up from one in eight three years ago.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The tremendous growth in UK production is testament to the global competitiveness of the UK automotive sector. High class engineering, advanced technology and a workforce committed to quality have helped turn around the industry, making the UK among the most productive places in Europe to make cars.
China remains a vitally important market for the UK automotive industry, as well as a crucial trading partner in terms of materials and components – relationships we wish to see thrive in the future.”
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