Netherlands earns €0.5 billion in car exports to the US

© Hollandse Hoogte / Siebe Swart luchtfotografie
In 2015, the Dutch private sector generated more than 0.5 billion euros in revenues through European exports of motor vehicles and vehicle components to the United States. These include both direct exports and intermediate supplies to car manufacturers in the EU which export to the US. This is evident from research on international value chains which was conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) based on OECD figures from 2015, the most recently available data.

In 2015, the EU automobile industry exported over 208 billion euros worth of motor vehicles and vehicle components to countries outside the European Union. With an export value of 61.7 billion euros, the United States is the main non-EU destination. Germany is the largest European supplier in this area, with exports to the US totalling 36.4 billion euros (59 percent of total EU car exports to the US). The United Kingdom comes in second place (10.4 percent), followed by Italy (8.9 percent). With an export value of around 200 million euros, the Netherlands occupies a share of merely 0.3 percent.

The automobile industry is the backbone of the German manufacturing sector. In 2015, the industry generated 19.6 percent of the total value added in the German manufacturing sector and 4.6 percent of Germany’s GDP. The German automobile industry represents one of the most international value chains in the world with over 28 percent of (direct) supplies to the German car industry originating from abroad at a value of 64.3 billion euros. Dutch suppliers consider the nearby German car industry an attractive sales market.

Exports by EU automobile industries to the US, 2015
 Export value
United Kingdom6.450
Rest of the EU8.493
Source: CBS, OECD, own calculations

Over 0.5 billion euros in value added

In 2015, Dutch businesses generated more than half a billion euros in value added from direct exports to the US and supplies to European automobile industries exporting to this country. Approximately 43.9 percent of this amount of 540 million euros was earned through supplies to the German car industry.

Broken down by industry, the highest value added was in wholesale trade at 108.9 million euros, followed by business services at 83.6 million euros. The bulk of this value added was generated via other EU countries. The Dutch automobile industry itself earned 82.7 million euros through European car exports to the United States, predominantly by way of direct supplies out of the Netherlands.

In relative terms - i.e. set off against the total value added per industry - the automobile industry is the highest earner in European car exports to the US with a share of 3.1 percent. This becomes 1.1 percent if direct supplies from the Netherlands to the US are excluded.

Dutch revenues from exports by EU automobile industries to the US, 2015
BedrijfstakDirectly from the Netherlands (million euros)Via Germany (million euros)Via other EU countries (million euros)
Wholesale trade14.850.943.2
Busines services13.038.132.5
Automobile industry53.715.213.8
Financial services5.013.812.4
Chemical and
pharmaceutical industry
Transport and storage1.811.38.5
Machinery industry1.410.88.8
Metal manufacturing industry3.09.07.4
Health care4.07.96.6
Oil and gas extraction0.311.16.3
Rubber and plastics industry1.38.86.1
Basic metal industry0.37.65.3
IT services1.25.14.3
Other manufacturing1.23.83.9
Other industries6.230.124.4
Source: CBS, OECD, own calculations

In 2015, the EU as a whole generated nearly 45.8 billion euros in exports of vehicles and vehicle components to the US. Of this amount, German industries contributed more than 25 billion euros (54.8 percent). The UK and Italy follow at a great distance with 4.9 billion euros (10.7 percent) and nearly 3.7 billion euros (8 percent) respectively. The Dutch share in total EU export revenues in this trade stood at 1.1 percent (542.9 million euros).

As part of the ongoing development programme on globalisation and value chains, CBS is compiling new statistics that allow cross-border comparison of traditional figures. This can provide insights into the position of the Netherlands in terms of the continuing fragmentation of global production processes. For example, this research shows that Dutch suppliers in the automobile industry may be affected not only directly but also indirectly by increased US import tariffs on European motor vehicles and vehicle components.