The UK Automotive Industry - Statistics & Facts

Once the largest exporter of cars in the world, the United Kingdom has a special relationship with the automotive industry. Automobile brands originating in the UK still hold prestige around the world, even if many are currently owned by foreign companies. Though it took a hit during the economic recession, the UK automotive industry has made a strong recovery — 1.5 million cars were produced in the UK in 2013, and production is expected to rise to over 2 million in 2017, surpassing the previous industry record from 1972.


Home market sales of cars are falling, especially as people are buying cars less often or choosing used cars instead, however the UK automotive export market has seen strong growth since 2009. The signs all point to the industry recovering well from the recession, with the industry as a whole contributing 10.4 billion British pounds to the UK economy in 2012, similar to pre-recession levels.

Ford, Vauxhall and Volkswagen lead and dominate the UK car sales market, especially the Ford Fiesta model which sold 122 thousand units in 2013. With 30.5 million cars on the road in the United Kingdom, and a further 600 thousand forecast to appear by 2015, Britain will remain key for both foreign and domestic investors and producers in the automotive industry.

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Automotive industry in the United Kingdom - Important statistics

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