Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 20.40.03I’ve been deluged with a load of bile on Twitter today about exports of cars manufactured in the UK to the rest of the EU (see here, here and here). There is even the line that “sales to the EU are so low”. I do not deny that there has been a slump in registrations of new cars in the EU in 2012 (see this for example), but Europe’s economies (and, hell, the UK’s too) have been hit with a pretty major economic shock since 2008.

But anyway, I want an answer to a simple question: what percentage of cars manufactured in the UK are exported to the rest of the EU? So what’s the answer?

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 20.11.07







This table comes from Page 16 of this PDF from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Even with registrations of new cars in the EU at a 17 year low in 2012, 51% of UK car exports went to the rest of the EU. Yes, more than the rest of the world put together. Throughout the 2008-2012 period in total, 60.72% of British car exports were to the other EU 26 Member States.

So then, is that “so low”, folks?


  1. michael fisher

    We are part of the EU, so those figures mean less than nothing you numpty lol, and hardly any goes to the other ’27’ lol. look around Europe and you will just see the streets filled with their own homemade cars. And most of them are foreign owned so the bulk of the profits go to their country’s just leaving low wages for the ‘peasants’ here. we need to invest in British owned company’s like Malaren and Noble to expand. You don’t quite have the right idea do you. But then you speaking on behalf of Germany aren’t you with the links of EU politics German politics and Berlin politics at the top of the page lol. What a joke…..

  2. Ian Young

    British factories are mainly foreign owned as they always have been (before the mediorce Leyland project Ford and Vauxhall/GM were the main volume producers). They do not put factories in the UK to export to US or BRICS, they have factories in these countries or their home lands to do that.
    So its hard to see what the Eruphobes think life for car manufacturing would be outside the EU. Will they’re be a magic future for Morgan exports (trying to think of a UK owned car and thats my best guess) in New Zealand and Bongo Bongo land or will we be making UK Trabants in an autarkic planned economy?

  3. passerby

    Britain’s ills on display in rising car sales

    One of Britain’s few economic bright spots – a 13-month run of increased car sales – may actually say more about the country’s ills than it does about its growth prospects.

    – more incentives to spend than to save
    – shortage of second-hand cars

    “You don’t have the movement of used cars between markets like you do in continental Europe,” said Colin Couchman, automotive analyst at IHS Global Insight. “We drive on the different side of the road.”

    From Reuters

  4. Joe Thorpe

    Those figures don’t discriminate between vehicles that pass through EU ports such as Rotterdam & Antwerp on their way to their true destination in much the same was as Rolls Royce Aerospace seem to sell a huge amount to the EU because that is where a lot of their Engines are bolted onto the planes. Welsh airbus wings are also exported to the EU but I guess they fly out of the EU with the rest of the plane when they reach their true destination. Remember the motor industry is collapsing like a lead balloon in the EU but growing in the BRIC countries. No figures are ever available for traffic in & out of Antwerp & Amsterdam which I presume in to allow people to peddle the lie that all our exports are reliant on EU customers. Exports as a portion of UK GDP are very small for an economy the size of the UK that percentage is even smaller so to shape policy based on exports to the EU is ludicrous & as you freely admit the vast amount of traffic between the UK & the EU is inbound which isn’t an issue for the UK to worry about that is an issue for the sellers to fret about if we left the EU

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