27 January 2017

China remains UK Automotive's third-biggest export destination

The latest figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that more cars are now being exported from Britain than ever before. Global appetite for British-built cars rose by 10.3% to an all-time high of 1,354,216 units - a second consecutive annual record.

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.

Significant uplifts were also seen in Japan and Turkey. Japan remains a key trading partner with the UK, with demand for British-built cars increasing by 14.8% in 2016 to nearly 26,000. 

India is now the eighth biggest Asian market for UK car exports as an increasing number of affluent buyers take advantage of a range of all new premium and luxury British-built cars. UK car exports to the country grew 15.8% to 3,372 in 2016.

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."

The top five British bestsellers in China

1. Range Rover Sport
2. Land Rover Discovery
3. Jaguar F Pace
5. Range Rover

"India and the UK have a great history of collaboration in the automotive sector and it is essential we secure a mutually beneficial trade relationships in the future," Hawes added.

Top five British bestsellers in India

1. Land Rover Discovery Sport
2. Range Rover Evoque
3. Jaguar XF
4. Jaguar XE
5. Jaguar F-Pace

Top five British bestsellers in Japan

2. MINI One
3. Jaguar XE
4. Toyota Avensis
5. Range Rover Evoque

China accounts for 6.5% of total production in 2016, followed by Turkey (3.1%), Australia (2.5%), Japan (1.9%), and Korea (1.7%).