Best year in a decade for British car production image

British auto manufacturers made more cars in 2015 than in any year since 2005, with exports representing 77.3 percent of the total production.

The automakers with production lines in the UK rolled out 1,587,677 cars in 2015, overtaking pre-recession levels for the first time. It was the best year since 2005, when 1,595,697 vehicles were produced, according to figures released yesterday by the British Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Last year’s figures marked a 3.9 percent output increase over 2014. A record number of cars, representing 77.3% of total production, was intended for export, with 1,227,881 units leaving the UK, up 2.7% on 2014 levels. A further increase in exports was tempered by challenges experienced in some global markets such as China, where demand fell by 37.5%, and Russia, where export volumes declined 69.4%. However, the economic recovery in Europe, the UK’s biggest trading partner, boosted demand for UK-built cars by 11.3% in 2015. The region now accounts for 57.5% of all UK car exports. In the US, demand rose by more than a quarter (26.5%), making it the UK’s biggest trading destination outside the EU, ahead of China. As for the UK commercial vehicle output, it rose by a third in 2015, with 94,479 vehicles been produced.

Jaguar Land Rover has become the largest automotive manufacturer in Britain, overpassing Nissan, which produced with 4.7 percent fewer cars last year, totaling 476,589 units. The British premium brand build 489,923 vehicles in 2015, marking a 9.0 percent increase over a year earlier. Jaguar Land Rover, who was last week named the best place to work in Britain by Bloomberg, delivered record sales in its home market in 2015, with over 100,000 vehicles registered for the first time in its history.