LONDON, July 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
- UK car production falls -2.9 in first half of 2017 to 866,656 units, as production lines gear up for new premium models.
- First half performance declines -2.9% to 866,656 units.
- Global demand drives volumes in first six months, with 78.9% of British-built cars shipped overseas and year on year demand broadly stable at -0.9%.
- Independent report forecasts sector will just miss 2 million production milestone by 2020.
- China remains UK Auto's third biggest trading partner, with 47,830 people buying British, despite -6.4% decline as sector adjusts to new regulation.
UK car production fell by -2.9% in the first half of 2017, with 866,656 cars rolling off production lines, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The small drop in output, which still makes the first six months the second biggest for 12 years, follows changes in production schedules for new model introductions.
Production for export continued to drive volumes in 2017 as global demand for British-built cars dipped by a marginal -0.9% in the first six months, with 683,826 cars shipped overseas. The percentage of cars built for export now stands at 78.9%, the highest for five years. Meanwhile, demand from the home market declined -9.5% to 182,830 units as the UK new car market cools in line with forecasts following a long period of record growth.
Production is forecast to rally in the second half of 2017, according to the latest independent forecast. The projection is based on a number of new models and updates planned for production later this year - many from premium brands, helping to cement the UK as the world's second biggest producer of premium cars after Germany. However, market softness both in the UK and certain key export markets may see the 2017 forecast revised. Looking further ahead, the base outlook with an interim Brexit deal secured, has been revised and the analysis forecasts industry will just miss the ambition of 2 million cars by 2020 (1,993,750).
In the first six months, global demand grew in a number of markets, notably the US - the UK's biggest export region after the EU - where exports rose by more than a third (37.6%) thanks to the launch of a raft of new models. US buyers now account for around one in six of all UK car exports.
Sales in China fell -6.4% as the automotive sector adjusted to changes in regulation governing new car imports. However, the country remains the UK's third biggest global market, behind the EU and US, and by far the biggest single market in Asia. In the first half of 2017, almost 48,000 Chinese buyers chose one of the UK's premium and luxury cars, taking 7.0% of all exports.
The EU remained the UK's biggest trading partner, accounting for more than half of all cars produced for export (54.6%), with Germany and Italy the UK's second and third biggest single markets. In fact, EU countries make up half of UK Automotive's top 10 export destinations, highlighting the importance of continued free trade.
Mike Hawes, Chief Executive, SMMT, said, "World class engineering and products, strong government collaboration and massive investment have helped UK Automotive become a global success story and one of the world's most skilled workforces have helped make UK Automotive among the most productive places to build cars. Given the highly integrated nature of the global automotive sector, it is vital we maintain open trade with our customers and suppliers for the benefit of consumers worldwide. China remains a vitally important partner for the UK, with both sectors investing significantly in each other's countries. Strengthening this relationship through mutually beneficial trade agreements has the potential to unlock huge opportunities for our respective industries and economies."
Car manufacturing Jun-16 Jun-17 % Change YTD-16 YTD-17 % Change Total 158,641 136,901 -13.7% 892,384 866,656 -2.9% Home 35,252 29,631 -15.9% 202,018 182,830 -9.5% Export 123,389 107,270 -13.1% 690,366 683,826 -0.9% % export 77.8% 78.4% 77.4% 78.9%
Notes to editors
1. A record 897,157 cars produced January-June 2016; 873,660 in H1 2004
2. 82.7% of UK-built cars exported January-June 2012
3. The Production Outlook is an independent forecast of UK vehicle manufacturing commissioned from AutoAnalysis. It is updated up to four times a year to respond to market and production cycle fluctuations. The latest report, produced in May, forecasts 1.92 million units for 2017
4: New and updated models include: Range Rover Velar; Nissan Qashqai (facelift); Aston Martin Vantage; Jaguar XF Sportbrake; Aston Martin V8 Vantage; Lotus Evora 400 Roadster
About SMMT and the UK automotive industry
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is one of the largest and most influential trade associations in the UK. It supports the interests of the UK automotive industry at home and abroad, promoting a united position to government, stakeholders and the media.
The automotive industry is a vital part of the UK economy accounting for more than £77.5 billion turnover and £21.5 billion value added.
More detail on UK automotive available in SMMT's Motor Industry Facts 2017 publication at http://www.smmt.co.uk/facts17.