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March 2021 | Platform

The Spanish automotive supplier industry records a steady increase in exports throughout 2020

In 2020, the automotive suppliers sector exported €17.879 billion, marking a 13.8% decline compared to 2019. Throughout 2020, the Spanish industry faced a profound slump in global trade of automotive products due to COVID-19. However, the resilience and competitiveness of Spanish automotive suppliers in foreign markets have ensured that exports remain, highlighting the significance of internationalization for the sector and the Spanish economy.

The top 10 destinations for Spanish automotive equipment and components in 2020, considering the European Union as a bloc, are: EU, United Kingdom, United States, Morocco, China, Turkey, Mexico, South Africa, Japan, and Russia.


What were the main destination countries for Spanish automotive suppliers' exports in 2020?


The European Union solidifies its position as the main destination for Spanish automotive equipment and components, with sales figures of €11.881 billion, representing a market share of 66.5% of the overall figure. Sales to the EU decreased by 11.8% compared to the previous year, influenced by pandemic containment measures that impacted the region's growth prospects and the consequent contraction of registrations (tourism by -23.7% and industrial vehicles by -18.9%).

France emerges as the main trading partner, with sales of €3.171 billion, although it experiences a 7% decline from 2019. Germany, as the second most relevant market, shows a negative year-on-year rate of 15.3%, reaching sales of €3.040 billion.

Sales to Portugal and Italy, the third and fourth clients with figures of €1.511 and €877 million respectively, decreased by 17.7% and 10.7% year-on-year.

Conversely, Slovakia (+5.8%) continues its upward trend, achieving a total figure of €325 million, entering the Top 10 of the main EU partners for the sector.

Other European markets also experience negative year-on-year rates in 2020: Poland (-10.3%), Czech Republic (-4.8%), Belgium (-19.1%), and the Netherlands (-4.7%).

Outside the European Union, exports to the United Kingdom record a significant year-on-year decline of 19.4%, reaching sales of €1.204 million, driven by the consequences of its exit from the European Union. China emerges as the market with the greatest economic recovery, with an export volume of €492 million.

The United States, the second-largest trading partner outside the EU, manages to cushion the impact of the crisis, decreasing by only 6.6%, with export figures of €949 million.

Exports to Morocco dropped by over 12% in 2020 (-12.6%), with export values of €842 million.

Turkey (-13.5%), Mexico (-23.9%), and South Africa (-24%) also exhibit negative behavior, with total figures of €300, €289, and €213 million respectively. While South Africa represents a trend reversal from previous years, Turkey experiences a worsening of its slowdown that began in 2017.

In the case of Japan, it is the market that experiences the greatest setback among the main destinations for Spanish exports. In 2020, it records a sharp decline of 37.6%, closing with sales of €166 million, in line with the decreasing trend of the last two periods.

Russia moderates its contraction, with a year-on-year decrease of 9.02%, placing exports to this market at €142 million, while Brazil experiences a 17.3% decline, with figures of €124 million in 2020.


Spanish automotive suppliers have continuously increased exports throughout 2020, following the fall in the first quarter.


Throughout the year of uncertainty, Spanish automotive suppliers have demonstrated their strength, resilience, and export-oriented character, allowing them to continuously increase sales since the decline in the first quarter of 2020. According to data from SERNAUTO, the Spanish Association of Automotive Manufacturers and promoter of our initiative, Autoparts from Spain, exports of Spanish automotive equipment and components amounted to €5.024 million between May and August 2020. This figure represents a 23.2% reduction compared to the same period in 2019. In the following months of 2020, exports continued to increase, with Spanish automotive equipment and components exported for a value of €7.431 million between September and December, representing a year-on-year growth rate of +8.5%, due to the reactivation of productive activity in the main European markets and the consolidation of growth in Asia.

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