AutosSurge in British car exports to Azerbaijan raises questions amid stagnant economy

Surge in British car exports to Azerbaijan raises questions amid stagnant economy

Bentley Bentayga during assembly
Bentley Bentayga during assembly
Images source: © Bentley Motors | Copyright Jonathan Fleetwood2020

9:52 AM EDT, March 20, 2024

An analysis by Sky News TV has revealed a significant surge in the export of cars from the British Isles to Azerbaijan, closely paralleling a similar trend of exports from Azerbaijan to Russia.

Despite official records from the United Kingdom's Tax Office indicating no direct car exports to Russia, in January 2024 alone, cars valued at up to $56 million were shipped to Azerbaijan. This figure surpasses the export values of both Switzerland and Canada.

The average price tag of a car exported to Azerbaijan exceeds $150,000. The Island Automotive Manufacturers Association asserts there's no evidence to suggest that vehicles destined for Azerbaijan ultimately make their way to Russia, considering it a market growing "on its own terms."

However, this assertion sits uncomfortably because Azerbaijan's average GDP per capita has remained stagnant at $15,000 for years. Comparing data from the turn of 2018/2019 with that of 2022/2023, car exports from the UK to Azerbaijan have skyrocketed by over 2000 percent. Kazakhstan follows with an 800 percent increase, and Indonesia ranks third with a growth rate shy of 500 percent.

In response to these findings, Bentley has stated that it "ceased operations in Russia in 2022" and is "fully dedicated to adhering to both current and forthcoming sanctions".

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