The value of annual car exports from the UK has doubled from GBP12bn in 2004 to GBP24.8bn in 2013.

The SMMT also said that the average wholesale value of each exported car rose from GBP10,200 (2004) to GBP20,640 (2013). That would reflect the success during the period of UK-based premium brands such as Jaguar Land Rover and Bentley.

The SMMT said that the surge has been driven by diversification of UK car manufacturing and increasing global demand.

At the organisation's International Automotive Summit today in Canary Wharf, SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said the income surge is largely attributable to the shift to building higher-quality models across the country.

"Countries around the world are spending twice what they were 10 years ago on UK-built cars. This reflects the thriving nature of our domestic industry and our global reputation for engineering expertise," Hawes said.

"With booming production volumes and the increasing value of UK car manufacturing, we are enjoying healthy demand from both growing and established markets. We want this success to continue but urgently need more young people to join our industry, working in every area from design and engineering to manufacturing and retail."

UK car manufacturers produced more than 1.5m cars last year, and are on course to break all-time records by passing the 2m barrier by 2017. Around 80% of cars built in the UK are exported, half of which are destined for the rest of the EU. Exports to wider global markets have increased markedly over the past decade, however, helped by growing worldwide demand for premium vehicles and the significant investments committed to the UK by global manufacturers.

In volume terms, 28.9% of the UK's exports were made up of premium and specialist brands in 2004, whereas, by 2013, this had increased to 42.4%. This pattern is also evident in the number of models built for each category, with premium models moving from the minority in 2004 to account for almost 60% of the UK model count last year.

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