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UK exported just under 1.2m cars in 2014

By Kyle Linsay
Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 11:08

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Our rich automobile heritage is a big draw for the Chinese

Automotive sector now has greater share of UK exports than ever before at 11.2%

Figures released today by the SMMT show that 137,410 UK-built cars were exported to China in 2014 – an increase of 14.5% over the previous year. Only the UK bought more British-built cars than China last year, with exports to China greater than combined UK exports to Brazil, India and Russia.

The trend in China reflects substantial growth in the wider Asian market, with the number of UK-built cars exported to Asia having more than trebled in five years. Asia is now the UK automotive industry’s largest export market after Europe, with 18.5% of all cars destined for the region.

In 2014 the automotive sector represented a greater share of total UK exports than ever before, accounting for 11.2% of revenue, valued at £26.2 billion.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Economic growth in Asia over the last five years has seen demand for new cars accelerate massively. A desire for high-quality premium vehicles with a strong brand heritage has placed the UK in a prime position to take advantage of this emerging market.”

The UK has a rich heritage of producing premium vehicles which it has taken advantage of in recent years. Significant investment in brands such as Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren and Rolls-Royce, mean that 60% of all UK-built models on offer are from premium manufacturers.

Not only has growth in the Asian market seen a surge in UK exports, it has also helped the average export value of UK-built cars increase from £10,200 in 2004 to £21,900 in 2014.

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