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March 2022 | Platform

Spanish automotive component exports closed 2021 with an increase of 10%.

In 2021, the Spanish automotive suppliers sector exported €19.669 billion, representing a 10% growth compared to 2020. However, there was a decrease of -5.2% compared to 2019, reflecting the dynamism of the Spanish industry in international markets as it has managed to recover a significant portion of the pre-pandemic levels. These positive results are driven by the performance of some of our key trading partners within the EU and in significant automotive markets such as the USA, China, or Mexico.

When considering the European Union as a whole, these were the most important destinations for Spanish automotive suppliers in 2021: the EU, the United Kingdom, the United States, Morocco, China, Mexico, Turkey, South Africa, Japan, and Russia.


What were the most important destinations for Spanish suppliers in 2021 within the European Union?


  • The European Union accounted for sales of €13.051 billion, representing a market share of 66.4% of the global figure. Sales to the EU increased by 9.8% year-on-year and decreased by only -3.2% compared to 2019.
  • Germany regained its position as the main trading partner for the sector, with sales to this market increasing by +11% year-on-year to reach €3.376 billion, although there is still a decrease compared to 2019 (-6%).
  • France, the second most relevant market, saw a decrease of -2.8% year-on-year, with sales of €3.083 billion. Compared to 2019, the French market recorded a contraction of -9.7%.
  • Sales to Portugal and Italy, the third and fourth largest customers with sales of €1.676 and €1.033 billion, respectively, grew by 10.9% year-on-year in the former case and 17.8% in the latter. It is worth noting that the Italian market registered a growth of +5.2% compared to the pre-pandemic period (2019).
  • The rest of the European markets reflected the good performance of exports throughout 2021 and also showed positive year-on-year growth rates: Poland (+18.2%), the Czech Republic (+6.1%), Slovakia (+20.8%), Belgium (+13.3%), and the Netherlands (+22%). In the comparison with 2019, there were significant growth rates in priority markets in Central Europe, such as Poland (+6%), Slovakia (+5.8%), or the Czech Republic (+1%).


Outside of the European Union, what were the top 10 destinations for Spanish automotive supplier exports in 2021?


Outside of the European Union, the primary market for exports is the United Kingdom, which saw a decrease of -8.6%, reaching sales of €1.100 billion. Compared to 2019, the decline intensified to -26.4%.

The United States strengthened its position as the second-largest trading partner, with a year-on-year growth of +14.5% to reach export figures of €1.087 billion. Compared to 2019, it showed growth of +6.9%, indicating the significance of this market for the Spanish automotive supplier industry.

Exports to Morocco experienced a minimal decline of -1.2% in 2021, reaching €832 million. In the comparison with 2019, there was a contraction of -13.7% in exports to this market.

On the contrary, China exhibited a year-on-year growth rate of +18.5%, reflecting the internal dynamism of its economy, with export volumes reaching €583 million. In fact, Spanish exports in 2021 grew by +32.1% compared to the pre-pandemic period, indicating that the Spanish offering is gradually increasing its market share.

Markets like Mexico and Russia not only had year-on-year increases of +38% and +28.7% respectively, but also showed growth of +5.1% and +17.1% when compared to 2019.

Turkey (+7.2%), South Africa (+10.4%), and Japan (+37.5%) also had a strong performance in 2021, with total figures of €321, €235, and €229 million, respectively, although they have not yet reached the 2019 levels.

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