In what can only be described as a remarkable turn around for the British motor industry, figures released this week show that the UK exported more vehicles than it imported last year, the first time it has happened for over 35 years.
Vehicle manufacturers in the UK produced just over 400,000 units last year which resulted in 320,000 cars and vans exported to other parts of the world with a value of something in the region of £6 billion. It is estimated that import of motor vehicles in the same period totalled about £5.5 billion leaving an import/export profit of around £500 million. It is a vindication of money spent on technology and human resources by an industry that for so long has been in the doldrums. Leading manufacturers such as Nissan, Honda and Toyota have found that factories in the UK give them great value and iconic models such as the Mini and Jaguar, both made here in the UK, are enticing more and more customers to get motor insurance quotes on them seemingly week on week.
Paul Everitt, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said “It has been a struggle at times but the motor industry in the UK has always managed to overcome whatever barriers put in its way, however, it is essential Government and industry continue the partnership that has helped deliver new investment and supply chain opportunities to secure long-term prosperity and jobs.”
Figures show the much vaunted Nissan plant in Sunderland led the way once more producing over 300,000 Nissan Qashqai cars and making up a big portion of the 20% surge in exports that the industry has experienced in the second quarter of this year.