Sterling stuff: UK car exports just rolled past 1m

Emma Haslett
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British-built cars are flying off the shelves across the Channel (Source: Getty)

UK car manufacturers may have complained bitterly about Brexit, but they're celebrating now - after car exports rose almost one per cent in September.

Figures by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT to its friends) showed 1,000,642 cars have been exported so far this year - up 12 per cent from 891,492 at the same point last year.

It's hardly surprising: the pound is down 20 per cent from this time last year, meaning British-made cars are significantly cheaper than they were.

In response to that, output in the sector has increased more than 10 per cent to almost 1.3m in the year to date, up from a paltry 1.17m this time last year.

There was a bit of bad news, though: manufacturing of cars destined for the home market were down 10.6 per cent in the year between September last year and September this year, suggesting British buyers' enthusiasm for new cars has waned.

“British-built cars are in demand across the world," said Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT.

"The vast majority of cars manufactured here in the UK are destined for abroad and future growth will depend on securing our international competitiveness and the barrier-free access to major global markets that has enabled UK automotive to thrive.”

However, the organisation has also warned Brexit could dent the industry in the long term.

"[Brexit could lead to] increasing costs, making our trading relationships uncertain and creating new barriers to our single biggest and most important market," warned Hawes back in June.

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