British cars were once known in the United States as being luxurious but notoriously unreliable. Think about the 1990s era Jaguars, any Land Rover sold before 2008, and the exceptional cost of maintaining Aston Martins.
Sales were limited to people who were willing to deal with electrical gremlins and frequent repair visits in exchange for some prestige and exclusivity.
Today the British brands have turned things around and the American car-buying public has taken notice. Or have they?
CNN Money said,
American drivers are growing increasingly fond of British-made automobiles.
They purchased nearly 50% more British cars in 2016 compare to the previous year, helping British automakers hike their annual production to a 17-year high.
The U.K. Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said nearly 200,000 British-made cars were shipped to the U.S. last year.
Meanwhile, just 40,000 U.S. cars were registered in the U.K. in 2016.
Wait… Honda Civic?
Yes, the Civic hatchback is now built in England and exported to 70 countries around the world. Lumping the Honda in with other British brands surely makes the sales numbers look better. In all of 2016 Jaguar only sold 6,656 XEs, though the numbers grew every month since the car’s May 2016 debut. Land Rover moved 21,612 Range Rover Sports in 2016.
So perhaps it’s incorrect to say that Americans have a growing hunger for British cars, but a continued hunger for the Civic, which happens to be built in Britain.
That said, in August of last year Jaguar was called the hottest car brand in America as it logged a 59 percent sales increase, outpacing every other car brand on the street. The automaker has an entirely new lineup which includes the hot F-PACE SUV and will start selling the electric I-PACE 5-seat crossover next year.
British car brands have come a long way in the last couple of decades and are leaders in innovation and technology, but they haven’t yet replaced the sales kings out of Germany and the U.S.
What are the odds that your next car will be British?