The rising popularity of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) models led to an impressive 15.8% increase in the UK’s car exports to India in 2016, according to the latest UK automotive industry figures. India is now the eighth largest Asian market for UK car exports with JLR’s Land Rover Discovery Sport, Ranger Rover Evoque, Jaguar XF, Jaguar XE and Jaguar F-Pace among the top five most popular models.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) said the Indian demand formed part of a wider 17-year high for British car manufacturing last year. “India is now the eighth biggest Asian market for UK car exports, with demand rising at a rapid rate as an increasing number of affluent buyers take advantage of a range of all new premium and luxury British-built cars. UK car exports to the country grew 15.8% to 3,372 in 2016,” SMMT said in a statement. It also found that Indian-built car models accounted for 31,535 new car registrations in the UK, an uplift of more than 12.6% on 2015.
“India and the UK have a great history of collaboration in the automotive sector and it is essential we secure mutually beneficial trade relationships in the future. India is a growing market, for the moment largely for luxury vehicles. But we face high import tariffs which makes it more difficult to sell into India,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive. “It remains to be seen the kind of trade deal the UK may look to agree with India post-Brexit. But meanwhile, it is very much about producing the right product for the market, which is in the premium category,” he noted.