UK car exports hit record despite European market slump

Nissan's Kevin Fitzpatrick: "We make most of our products for Europe"

Car production in the UK has hit a four-year high and car exports have registered a record high, despite a deep slump in European vehicle sales.

UK factories built 1.46 million cars in 2012, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said, of which 1.21 million were shipped abroad.

Production was up 9% and exports 8%, despite the fact that separate data on Wednesday showed car sales in the EU hit a 17-year low last year.

The SMMT expects 2013 to be better yet.

"The outlook for 2013 remains positive, with demand in many faster-growing global markets offsetting the continued weakness in European economies," said SMMT head Paul Everitt.

"The £6bn of investment committed to UK facilities, new model programmes and [research and development] signals a bright future and many new opportunities for companies in the supply chain."

Although more than 80% of cars manufactured in the UK are exported, production figures were boosted by strong domestic demand.

Total new car registrations in the UK rose 5.3% in 2012, according to separate data from the SMMT, helping to drive up domestic demand for UK-manufactured cars by 15%.

Of the UK's car exports in 2012, 50% went to other parts of the EU, with another 15% going to the rest of Europe, 16% went to Asia (of which 8% to China) and 13% to the US, the SMMT said.

Paul Everitt head of the SMMT welcomed the sales figures

Not all the news from the UK was positive.

Production of commercial vehicles, such as trucks and vans, fell 6.8% last year to 112,000 units, due to a slump in both domestic and export demand that accelerated in December.

The production of vehicle engines was tepid, with total output falling 0.3% in the year, largely due to a sharp drop in export demand.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories


Features & Analysis

  • French luxury Tea House, Mariage Freres display of tea pots Tea for tu

    France falls back in love with tea - but don't expect a British cuppa

  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine

  • People take part in an egg-cracking contest in the village of Mokrin, 120km (75 miles) north of Belgrade, Serbia on 20 April 2014In pictures

    Images from around the world as Christians mark Easter Sunday

  • Female model's bottom in leopard skin trousers as she walks up the catwalkBum deal

    Why budget buttock ops can be bad for your health

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world


  • An aerial shot shows the Olympic Stadium, which is closed for repair works on its roof, in Rio de Janeiro March 28, 2014.Extra Time Watch

    Will Rio be ready in time to host the Olympics in 2016? The IOC president gives his verdict

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.