Export markets bolster Britain’s automotive output

Figures from SMMT show that UK car production is at its highest since 2007 with a 3.1 per cent rise in output in 2013.

Overall export volumes have been bolstered by strong growth in demand for UK-built cars outside of Europe, where economic conditions remain challenging.

China’s share of exports has grown, and the country now looks set to become the largest non-EU market for UK-built cars.

Industry analysts now predict output to reach record levels of around two million units by 2017, up from 1.5 million in 2013.

In a statement business secretary Vince Cable said: ‘The British car industry is going from strength to strength – with one vehicle rolling off a production line somewhere in the UK every 20 seconds.

‘Our success lies in the appetite from countries around the world for British cars. Around 80 per cent of the 1.5 million cars we produced last year were exported – a testament to the diverse, high quality of British manufacturing.’

Rachel Eade, automotive sector lead for the Manufacturing Advisory Service said: ‘Today’s figures cap a fantastic 2013 for the UK automotive industry, with massive investment from the car makers, record car sales from our best brands and news of a new £92m National Automotive Innovation Campus being built [in Warwick].

‘All of this has created a groundswell of positivity around the sector and this is undoubtedly flowing down into tiers 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on.

‘The hundreds of suppliers we work with on the ground are reporting significant increases in demand and having to invest quickly in tooling, recruitment and capital equipment to really take advantage of these opportunities.

‘The big OEMs will take most of the headlines, but we shouldn’t take for granted the role the supply chain has played in making the UK an attractive location for making cars again.’