Exporting a vehicle from the UK – Factsheet

The United Kingdom has been a quintessential part of the European automobile enterprise for decades. Both vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers rely on cross Channel exchange in their supply chains.

The origins of the UK car enterprise date back to the end of the nineteenth century. Around the fifties, the UK was the second-largest producer of cars and became the largest exporter in the world. For a long period, the sector had a lower boom than competitive countries such as France, Germany, and Japan, and by 2008, the UK had risen to become the 12th-largest producer of automobiles by volume. Since the late Eighties, many British vehicle marques have ended up being owned by foreign companies and thus currently the rights to the most popular brands are still owned by foreign companies.

As the UK financial system more and more seeks to refocus on export as a potential of boosting financial growth, extra organizations and commercial support organizations are investing in worldwide trade to gain more and expand market share and raise profits.

Fact sheet of the UK car industries

This fact sheet shows the EU and the UK motor industries are closely interrelated.

  • 51% of all exported UK‐made motor cars headed to the European Union in 2019.
  • Eight out of 10 motor automobiles produced in the United Kingdom are exported.
  • In other words, three out of ten motor vehicles made in the EU are exported, which comes to around 32.2% almost one-third of complete EU vehicle exports heading to the UK.
  • The EU represents 81% of the UK’s motor automobile imports.


Export statistics between the UK and other countries

  • 80% of the UK’s motor car manufacturing is exported, of which 51% goes to EU member states (Belgium, Germany, and Spain collectively signify more than 25%). 
  • The other way around, the EU nations signify 81% of the UK’s motor automobile import volume, really worth nearly €41 billion.
  • The EU exported 2.2 million motor vehicles to the UK in 2019 representing 81% of total United Kingdom car imports and 30% of EU automobile export.
  • The UK made motor cars, 806,867 in 2019 exported to the EU, accounting for 18% of whole EU car imports and 51% of complete UK automobile exports.
  • Exports of the UK decreased from 45205 Units in July to 29200 Units in August 2021.

The UK car export (2020)

The EU is the most important export spot for passenger cars exported via the UK. In 2020, 54.8 percent of the motors bought by the UK-based total producers went to member states of the EU. In December around 13.6 billion British pounds were valued for the total export by the UK to the EU and in that same year, the EU is the most important buying and selling partner of the UK. In recent years the discrepancy between exports and imports has exacerbated the UK’s poor trade balance with the EU.

Cars exported from the UK 2003-2020

A drop in manufacturing in the previous decade resulted in a drop in export sales; however, from 2009 to 2018, there was a steady rebound in the export market, which peaked in 2016 with 1.35 million motors exported from the UK. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, exports in 2020 dropped nearly 30 per cent in contrast with the preceding year.

Grey import cars are new or used motor cars and bikes legally imported from some other country via channels other than the maker’s respectable distribution system. The synonymous term parallel import is once in a while substituted.

Carmakers regularly arbitrage markets, placing the fee by nearby market prerequisites so the identical automobile will have distinctive actual costs in distinct territories. Grey import motors dodge this profit-maximization strategy. Carmakers and neighbourhood distributors now and again regard grey imports as a danger to their community of franchised dealerships, however, impartial distributors do not see that greater motors of an ordinary manufacturer deliver in cash from the provider and spare parts.

For the arbitrage to work, there should be some capability to reduce, eliminate, or reverse whichever savings ought to be completed by buying the car in the lower-priced territory. Examples of such boundaries consist of guidelines stopping imports or requiring steeply-priced car modifications. There are few countries like Vietnam where the import of grey-market cars has mostly been banned.

Export data in detail

  • UK exports vehicles to countries all over the world
  • 81% of all automobiles made in Britain are exported
  • 749,038 motors had been manufactured for export in 2020
  • The EU accounted for 53.5% of UK-built car exports – making it our largest buying and selling partner
  • Britain manufactured 1,122147 engines in 2020 for export, it comes to 61% of all engines made in Britain.

Here we will discuss the top ten export destinations of the UK.

  • EU 53.5%
  • US 17.7%
  • China 7.6%
  • Japan 3.5%
  • Turkey 2.6%
  • Australia 2.1%
  • South Korea 1.7%
  • Canada 1.5%
  • Russia 1.1%
  • Israel 1.0%

This factsheet gives today’s information on export and trade in the UK.

UK car manufacturing reached a 10-year high, increasing 3.9% to 1,587,677 vehicles. More cars were exported than ever before, up 2.7% on the preceding year at 1,227,881. Domestic manufacturing surges 8.1% to 359,796 to meet the growing demand for British-built cars. The US overtakes China as the UK’s greatest export destination, with demand up by a quarter.

21 January 2016 British producers made more automobiles in 2015 than any year since 2005 when 1,595,697 cars have been produced, in accordance to figures launched these days by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Production accelerated 3.9% in 2014, with output at 1,587,677 overtaking pre-recession stages for the first time.

A record of automobiles – representing 77.3% of whole manufacturing – used to be for export, with 1,227,881 gadgets leaving the UK, up 2.7% on 2014 levels. Competition has been there in a few countries like China, where demand fell by 37.5%, and in Russia, where export volumes decreased 69.4%. However, the financial recuperation in Europe, the UK’s largest buying and selling partner, boosted demand for UK-built vehicles substantially by 11.3% in 2015. The area now has money owed for 57.5% of all UK export cars.

Finished Vehicle Export and the value of export

 The UK automobile enterprise is increasingly more exported. Since 2006, at least 75% of UK manufacturing of completed vehicles has been destined for foreign places markets. In 2018, motors dominated exports of completed automobiles with a 96% share of the total, whilst CVs represented solely 4% of exports. In quantity terms, 2016 noticed a record-breaking 1.4 million motors leaving British production traces for distant places markets. However, despite keeping a sustained export share, gadgets shipped overseas declined to 1.28 million motors in 2018. On average, 4 in 5 motors and three in 5 CVs produced in the UK are destined for export.

As a share of complete production, exports of passenger automobiles peaked in 2011, overlaying 83.7% UK auto manufacturing and using the sector’s comeback after the 2008 crisis. Despite a current contraction of complete manufacturing outputs, export shares have been sustained. 81.5% of UK-built vehicles had been exported in 2018. In price terms, vehicle exports fuelled the sector’s expansive phase. The car industry of the EU exports greater than 5.8 million vehicles each year and a €76.3 billion produced exchange surplus for the EU.

The vehicle trade value between the United Kingdom and the UK’s exchange companions surpassed one hundred billion British kilos in 2018 and 2019. The fee of car exports here is 42.4 billion British kilos in 2019. That year, the United Kingdom exported simply over eighty percent of vehicles produced domestically. The chasm between the price of imports and exports endured widening in 2019. 

 There had been 2.4 million car registrations in 2018, the lowest given that 2013. The enterprise has performed properly in the latest years, reaching a good increase in employment, production, monetary output, and exports. But the enterprise faces crucial challenges, which include profound shifts in international demand, environmental issues, and the invention of the latest technologies such as driverless cars. Perhaps most importantly, the prospect of Brexit has elevated uncertainty in the industry. The UK automobile manufacturing zone is rather integrated with parts of Europe, in each completed car and element parts. This close integration is monitored and guided by the Government body. As the phase of the Industrial Strategy, the authorities have created a Sector Deal for the automobile sector. This focuses on the improvement of ultra-low emission, related and self-sustaining vehicles.

In full-year 2020, car manufacturing in Britain reduced in size by 29% to 920,928 vehicles — the lowest range since 1984. More than 80% of passenger vehicles made in the UK have been exported. In 2020, industrial car manufacturing in Britain will be smaller using 16% to the lowest level since 1933. Engine manufacturing in the UK shrivelled by using 27% in 2020. 

The auto exchange with most of the UK’s different key export partners declined in 2020 in line with the hard market stipulations ensuing from the pandemic. Shipments to countries like the US, Australia, and Japan had decreased 33.7%, 21.8%, and 21.6%, respectively.

Exports of cars from the UK to China, however, in 2020 elevated 2.3%, and these to South Korea and Taiwan additionally rose 3.6% and 16.7% respectively as these countries travelled on distinctive trajectories in dealing with Covid.

World Wide Exports to more than 100 countries

Appetite for British-built motors grew appreciably in a different key and rising regions, demonstrating the power and variety of UK manufacturing and product. In the US, demand rose extra than a quarter (26.5%), making it the UK’s largest buying and selling spot backyard in the EU, before China. Meanwhile, an incredible boom used to be additionally considered in Australia, South Korea, Turkey, and Japan with volumes up 53.7%, 55.2%, 41.1%, and 35.4% respectively.

British purchaser and enterprise demand for British-made automobiles additionally contributed to the remaining year’s success, with the domestic auto market rising 8.1% in the preceding year. One in seven new motors registered in the UK in 2015 was made in Britain. 

The UK automobile sector as in total generated a complete trade income of £74 billion, underlying its huge significance to worldwide trade, with greater than 80% of British-built motors and extra than 60% of light commercial motors destined for export.

The record additionally highlights the significance of partnership with the EU. With the UK at the forefront of the world electric automobile revolution, trade policy needs to additionally make sure that Rules of Origin reflects the right sourcing of batteries for electric-powered cars so that UK-built zero-emission motors can be freely exported around the world and play a crucial part in decreasing emissions.

After the decline of 1.4% in the first three months of the year, the UK economic system grew to 5.5% in the 2d quarter which was from April to June 2021, as restrictions on enterprise endeavours have been eased. ONS (Office for National Statistics) figures stated that the Q1 contraction used to be much less than the 1.6% expected, with the Q2 increase higher than the estimated 4.8%.

Although this nonetheless left GDP 3.3% down on pre-pandemic figures in 2019, the UK’s overall performance used to be greater compared to the state of affairs in different European countries, according to the Guardian. The export boom in the 2d quarter was once revised up from 3% to 6.2% whilst imports have been revised down from 6.5% to 2.4%.

Achieving these challenging fought-for consequences is down to integral funding in the sector, world-class engineering, and a dedicated and professional UK workforce is one of the most productive in the world. The continued increase in an intensely aggressive world market is far from guaranteed, however, and relies closely on world financial stipulations and political stability. Europe is our largest buying and selling associate and the UK’s membership of the European Union is crucial for the vehicle region to impervious future growth and jobs.



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