LONDON, January 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
- Japanese demand for British-built cars rises 25.4% in 2017, to account for 2.4% of exports.
- Japan remains UK Auto's second biggest Asian market, with more than 32,000 people buying British-built cars.
- 1.67 million cars built in the UK, a fall of -3.0% but still the second biggest output for 17 years.
- Global demand drives volumes, with 79.9% of UK-built cars exported - the highest in five years.
- British engine manufacturing reaches record levels, with 2.72 million produced - up 6.9% on 2016.
Japanese demand for British-built cars rose by more than a quarter in 2017, with more than 32,000 motorists choosing one, according to the latest figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Increasing popularity of the UK's ever-growing range of premium, luxury and sports cars, helped drive UK automotive exports, which, although down by a moderate -1.1%, accounted for eight out of every 10 cars produced.
A total of 1,671,166 vehicles rolled off production lines, a -3.0% decrease on 2016 - but still the second highest output since the turn of the century. Export demand from 160 markets worldwide now represents 79.9% of all UK car output - the highest proportion for five years.
The EU remained the UK's biggest trading partner, taking more than half (53.9%) of all exports, while global appetite for British-built cars rose in several key markets. Among those showing notable growth, were China, (+19.7%), Canada, (+19.5%) and the US (+7.0%).
However, the biggest growth was seen in Japan - the UK's second biggest Asian market behind China. Exports to the country grew by more than a quarter (25.4%) as more Japanese motorists took advantage of new premium models, for which the UK is renowned. 32,404 British-built cars were shipped to the country last year, with buyers taking 2.4% of all exports - up from 1.9% the previous year,
The Japan-UK automotive trading relationship is not only based on exports. In 2017, 127,495 UK car buyers chose Japanese-built cars, an increase of 1.4% on 2016, and accounting for one in 20 new car sales in Britain.
The UK's reputation as a centre for excellence in engine design and manufacture was also boosted in 2017, as billions of pounds of investment helped drive production to record levels, with demand growing at home and overseas. Overall UK engine output rose 6.9% to more than 2.7 million units - with 54.7% destined for car and van plants around the world. In fact, the UK exports some £1.5 billion worth of components each year to help build vehicles in Asia, while importing more than double that amount from the region.
The news comes as UK Automotive steps up calls for urgent agreement on the terms of a post-Brexit transition deal. This must be comprehensive, result in no change and allow business to continue as usual until a new trading relationship with the EU is in place. This means maintaining the UK's membership of the single market and customs union.
The agreement must also include guarantees that the UK will continue to benefit from EU Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) for the full duration of transition. Secondly, vehicle certifications that have been issued in the UK must remain valid so they can continue to be sold across the EU. Finally, no new customs checks should be applied during the transition.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, "World class engineering and products, a supportive government and massive investment have helped UK Automotive become a global success story. Our relationship with Japan goes back many years, built on our mutual commitment to trade and investment - and today's figures show it is stronger than ever. Last year's agreement of an EU-Japan Free Trade Deal was welcome news. However, for our relationship - and consumers in our respective countries - to benefit from open trade post-Brexit, we will need transitional and long-term future agreements with both the EU and Japan."
UK car manufacturing Dec-16 Dec-17 % Change YTD-16 YTD-17 % Change Total 113,976 100,604 -11.7% 1,722,698 1,671,166 -3.0% Home 18,669 14,078 -24.6% 373,255 336,628 -9.8% Export 95,307 86,526 -9.2% 1,349,443 1,334,538 -1.1% % export 83.6% 86.0% 78.3% 79.9%
Top 5 British Bestsellers in Japan
- MINI One
- Honda Civic Type-R
- MINI Clubman
- Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
- Land Rover Range Rover Velar
Global Demand for British Cars
Top Export Destinations for UK cars
South Korea: 1.6%
SOURCE Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders