The average value of a new car exported from the UK to overseas markets has doubled from less than £10,000 to more than £20,000 since 1997, reports the SMMT.
The rise in value since 2007 alone is more than 70%; average unit values are all current UK prices too, which takes out the effects of inflation and ensure it’s a genuine value boost.
This is great news for the UK economy, says the car industry trade body – particularly as it’s only likely to increase further in the future. Higher prices means money coming into the UK, positively boosting balance of payments and GDP.
“The significant increase in the value of car exports in recent years reflects the changing profile of the models produced and underlines the sector’s economic importance,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.
“With the effects of recent investments still to be fully realised, industry looks forward to providing an even greater contribution to the UK economy in the future.” New models include an all-new Infiniti at Nissan’s Sunderland plant, a replacement for the Land Rover Freelander 2 and an all-new baby Jaguar built at the firm’s Solihull facility to rival the high-volume BMW 3 Series.
Marginal dip ‘was forecast’
These investments are why UK car manufacturing dipped slightly in February, by 2.7%. Such forecast product cycle changes include the rollout of the new MINI Hatch, the redevelopment of Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant and further work at Land Rover’s Halewood plant.
This is why production volumes delivered to the UK market fell by almost 21%: cars sold in the UK are at the more mainstream end that several big brands are redeveloping right now.
Export volumes (dominated by larger, luxurious machines) did rise by 3.5% though and, of the 137,458 cars built in the UK during February, exports account for 102,207 of them. They thus make up the vast majority of cars. Three in four cars built in the UK is exported.
Overall, the SMMT expect the overall February decline to be a blip. “Industry is set for growth in 2014 and beyond, as fresh investments are made and new models come to the market.”