Martin Saarinen

2018-02-28 09:45

SMMT cites January figures showing UK exported 119,252 vehicles abroad, the highest number on record

Nissan Sunderland

The UK must achieve a “seamless” long-term trade deal with Europe, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has warned, record numbers of built in the UK exported abroad.

January 2018 saw 147,481 vehicles built in the UK, just 72 fewer than in January last year. But while overall production fell by just 0.05 per cent, exports grew by 1.5 per cent to 119,252 – the highest number on record.

• Car faces 13% rise in costs after Brexit

Over 80 per cent of all cars built in the UK are now shipped abroad, with the European Union the biggest buyer.

Conversely, domestic demand for British-built cars fell by six per cent. The SMMT blames falling business and consumer , as well as confusion over future Government policies on diesel taxation and air quality plans.

The SMMT has also previously warned that “around 10 per cent of our exports could be threatened overnight” if the UK fails to maintain all of the current trade benefits it has with the EU.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “While it is good to see global appetite for British-built cars reach record levels in January, this only reinforces the industry’s increasing reliance on overseas demand. Future growth will therefore depend on maintaining our current open trade links just with Europe but with key international markets.

“A transitional deal will be an important first step but, in the long term, a seamless relationship between the UK and Europe must be maintained. The EU remains the third largest market in the world and, given it is on our doorstep, it is not surprising it accounts for more than half of our global exports.”

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