By David Bailey, Professor – Aston Business School
A new report from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) highlights that automotive exports remained the top UK export sector last year, accounting for 8.8% of the UK’s exports in 2020.
Overall vehicle export revenues to all markets topped some £27bn in 2020, even with Covid disruption to production, sales and trade flows. UK auto last year generated trade revenue of £74bn, with more than 80% of British-built cars and more than 60% of light commercial vehicles exported.
However, the report highlights that the industry’s competitive advantage is being eroded by both volatile energy prices and the cost of complying with post-Brexit regulations. In a survey of members, 9 out of 10 firms in the industry told the SMMT that costs (in terms of time and resources) had increased as a result of leaving the EU. Some 6 out of 10 stated that the extra expense now involved in trading with the bloc represented a “mu...