United Kingdom DOC Reports

United Kingdom Approval Process for Imported Automobiles and Motorcycles

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Automobiles manufactured in the United States generally need some adaptation to meet the requirements of UK regulations relating to the design and construction of vehicles intended for use on British roads. The most obvious difference, right-hand versus lefthand drive, is not a regulatory issue, but other conventions including the color of turn signals, the aim of dipped headlights, and in some cases, the protrusion of tail pipes, tow hitches, and front bull bars can be a problem that demands remedial action before an Approval Certificate can be issued, permitting the vehicle to be registered and used on the public roads.

 

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United Kingdom - An Overview of the Automotive Market

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Automotive manufacturing in the UK generates $98 billion in annual revenue, nearly 5% of GNP, and supports more than 200,000 jobs. Vehicle servicing, parts, maintenance, marketing and distribution together employ an additional 500,000 workers; parts and services has annual revenue of almost $26 billion. The regional center of the automotive industry is the West Midlands where 30% of the industry is based. The UK boasts the world's most successful motorsport industry and a range of smaller producers serve specialty markets such as sports cars, luxury cars, and London taxis.

 

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United Kingdom Automotive Parts Aftermarket

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The automotive aftermarket spans the life of a vehicle between the end of the original manufacturers’ warranty and its end of life. In value terms, the aftermarket cost of maintaining Britain’s road vehicles is approximately $25 billion. This annual expenditure figure is not expected to change dramatically in the next few years, but how and where it is spent is of enormous importance to the local economy, because Britain is heavily dependent on road transport for economic and social reasons, and because the automotive industry and the garage trade are important employers of skilled labor throughout the country.

 

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United Kingdom Automotive Body Repair Systems and Equipment

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UK automotive body repair shops buy tools, equipment, consumables and supplies worth approximately $160 million each year to support the 27 million passenger cars and 6 million trucks, vans and buses registered in Britain. Annual sales of capital equipment used for body repair rise in line with inflation, but show little evidence of real market growth. Electric and
pneumatic power tools and accessories show better prospects for increased sales, and both environmental and health and safety concerns are bringing changes in work practices that will require automotive paint shops to invest in new equipment and facilities. As in most industries that rely on craft skills, there is a constant need for materials and supplies, either as accessories to the power tools used, or as part of a manual finishing process.

 

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United Kingdom Automotive Manufacturing Sector Overview

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This report is one of a series written by U.S. Commercial Service offices across Europe. It provides details of the automobile manufacturers in the UK, as well as a brief overview of the market structure.

 

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