The UK is one of SA’s most important automotive markets, accounting for more than half of the vehicle units exported to Europe and about a third of global exports. In addition, Gibraltar, also a UK territory, received 586 vehicle units from SA in 2017, which almost doubled to 1,106 units in 2018. Overall, SA exported R6.6bn worth of vehicles to the UK in 2018. However, the trade relationship between the SA and UK automotive industries is not just about the import and export of vehicles. Underlying vehicle exports are intricate cross-border supply chains, which involve linkages with component manufacturing. These are a vital cog that drives the industry. It is important to appreciate the fact that vehicle exports are supported by networks of component manufacturers that are an essential source of jobs and income growth. SA exported R2.2bn worth of original equipment components to the UK last year, almost 70% being catalytic converters. The second-largest component export is automotiv...

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