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A quarter of car buyers more likely to buy British, research finds

Row of cars

A quarter of in-market car buyers say they are more likely to buy British brands or choose cars manufactured in Britain to support the automotive sector.

According to the latest in-market research by WhatCar? a quarter of buyers (25.07%) said they are more likely to buy from British brands or cars they know are manufactured in the country to support the domestic industry.

This is down from a high of 44.62% from January 2021, when What Car? asked the same question (whether consumers believe it’s important to support domestic manufacturers) during the third lockdown as showrooms were forced to close and sales plummeted by 40%.

Steve Huntingford, editor, What Car?, said: “Though the need to support domestic businesses has dropped from the highs seen during the worst months of Covid, buyers are still aware their purchase can help manufacturers operating in the country.

“This is particularly important for a sector that employs more than 797,000 people and contributes £11.9 billion in added value to the UK economy.”

Earlier this month Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) registrations data showed that the UK automotive sector has suffered its worst March new car registrations result since 1998.

Cox Automotive’s latest forecasts have revealed that new car registrations are expected to decline 10% year-on-year in the first half of 2022 with all hopes pinned on a recovery in H2.

While a quarter of buyers told What Car? that they were more likely to buy British, the survey also found 61% of all respondents believe it important for buyers in general to support British manufacturers and car brands.

The country of manufacturer is important for 43.12% of all buyers surveyed, with 9.82% claiming it very important and saying it dictates their purchase decision.

When it comes to waiting longer for cars built in Britain or cars from British brands, 45.59% said they wouldn’t mind a longer lead time compared to other vehicles.

What Car? also surveyed whether buyers know where their current car is manufactured, with 19.46% of owners unaware of their car’s country of origin.

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