UK exports and manufacturing at an all-time high

Car manufacturing and export figures for 2012 have been released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have been released, and it's been a bumper year, with records broken for both benchmarks.

The SMMT has confirmed that UK exports exceeded 1.2 million units last year. It's precisely the sort of figure that demonstrates European manufacturing is a tale of two halves: premium and mainstream. With premium booming, and mainstream struggling. As the UK's main production area is in the premium sector (Jaguar Land Rover and MINI leading the way - as well as Bentley, Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce), It's resulting in a boom time as British manufacturers expand into growing markets with desirable products,

But the rise of NIssan's Washington production operation clearly shows that mainstream niche manufacture is also on the rise. When it moved from producing the Almera and Primera to focusing on the Qashqai crossover small MPV/hatchback, major growth followed. It is now by some margin the UK's largest car manufacturer.

Overall, total vehicle manufacture grew by 8 per cent to 1.58 million in 2012, of which 1.46 millon were cars - representing a 9 per cent rise over 2011. That largely matched the rise in exports - 8 per cent over 2011.

Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive commented, '2012 was a very good year for UK car production with record levels of exports and volumes at their highest since 2008. The outlook for 2013 remains positive with demand in many faster growing global markets offsetting the continued weakness in European economies.'

SMMT Cars Commercial Vehicles Total Vehicles Total Engines
Data. Dec-12 YTD-12 Dec-12 YTD-12 Dec-12 YTD-12 Dec-12 YTD-12
Total 101,740 1,464,906 6,851 112,039 108,591 1,576,945 150,204 2,495,371
% change 6.2% 9.0% -18.9% -6.8% 4.2% 7.7% -0.8% -0.3%
Export 84,986 1,212,031 3,550 63,733 88,536 1,275,764 96,933 1,554,208
% change 4.2% 7.8% -26.7% -8.1% 2.5% 6.8% -2.1% -11.6%
% of total 83.5% 82.7% 51.8% 56.9% 81.5% 80.9% 64.5% 62.3%
Home 16,754 252,875 3,301 48,306 20,055 301,181 53,271 941,163
% change 17.5% 15.4% -8.4% -4.9% 12.3% 11.6% 1.7% 26.2%
% of total 16.5% 17.3% 48.2% 43.1% 18.5% 19.1% 35.5% 37.7%

UK Manufacturing 2012

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