Export of cars from Britain to India grew almost 11-fold in the past seven years with Tata Motors-owned JLR’s Land Rover and Jaguar models topping the best selling list, according to UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
On the other hand, Indian-built models accounted for 31,535 new car registrations in the UK last year, a growth of 12.6% from 2015.
“In 2016, Indian motorists bought 3,372 British-built cars, up from 309 in 2009,” said the automotive industry body SMMT.
Last year, demand rose 15.8% compared with 2015, lifting India from 10th to 8th place in the UK’s Asia export markets, it added.
SMMT said the top five British bestsellers in India are Discovery Sport, Range Rover Evoque, Jaguar XF, Jaguar XE and the Jaguar F-Pace.
SMMT director of communications and international Tamzen Isacsson said: “As a car market, India really understands British brands, and thanks to its engineering excellence and highly skilled workforce, the UK has a rich heritage of producing the highest quality, globally competitive premium vehicles”.
Growing prosperity in Asian markets in recent years has seen a surge in demand for premium cars, even despite high import duties in many countries, she added.
Indian motorists are now also able to buy more British- built components than ever before, SMMT said.
Last year, around 14 million pounds worth of UK car parts were bought by the Indian automotive aftermarket.
This is set to increase significantly, by around 15% annually over the next five years as the Indian car parc grows, and more owners look for high quality British brands to fit to their vehicles,” it added.
SMMT said Asia is now the third biggest export market for British built cars, after Europe and America, accounting for 13.4% of sales.
Economic growth has led to increased demand for high-quality luxury vehicles. Key to the UK sector’s success has been meeting this demand with a ‘shift to premium’, it added.
SMMT said UK car production achieved a 17-year high in 2016 with a production of 1,722,698 vehicles, up 8.5% from 2015.
Last year, total exports of British-built cars rose by 10.3% to an all-time high of 1,354,216 units, a second consecutive annual record, it added.
“Around 8 out of every 10 cars manufactured in the UK is now exported, bound for one of 160 markets worldwide,” it said.