Mike Hawes, chief executive, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), UK, said that the number of UK-built cars exported to Asia has more than trebled in five years. Hawes was recently in Delhi to attend the ACMA Automechanika, India’s leading international automotive trade fair. “In 2014, the UK exported 220,682 cars to the region, compared to 60,804 in 2009. Asia is now the UK automotive industry’s largest export market after Europe, with 18.5% of all cars destined for the region,” he said.
He added that the number of UK-manufactured cars that are exported to India has increased by more than 800%, with 2,836 British-built cars sold in India in 2014. “While the number is minuscule compared to the size of the Indian car market, the value is substantial,” Hawes said. Most British-built cars sold in India are expensive, luxury cars, many of them costing upwards of R1 crore.
“Economic growth in Asia over the last five years has seen demand for new cars accelerate massively. A desire for high-quality premium vehicles with a strong brand heritage has placed the UK in a prime position to take advantage of this emerging market. The British car industry’s success in the region, including in India, is due to the quality of our globally competitive products built with engineering excellence,” he added.
Economic growth in India and China has led to an increased demand for high-quality and luxury vehicles. “The UK has a rich heritage of producing premium vehicles which it has taken advantage of in recent years. Significant investment in brands such as Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren and Rolls-Royce mean that 60% of all UK-built models on offer are from premium manufacturers,” Hawes said.