On the 23rd September, leading organisations representing vehicle and parts manufacturers across the EU joined forces to stress the impact a ‘no deal’ Brexit would have on one of Europe’s most valuable economic assets.
The automotive industry produces 19.1 million vehicles a year and employs 13.8 million people. European industry chiefs warned that the repercussions of the UK’s departure from the EU without a deal would trigger a seismic shift in trading conditions, with billions of euros of tariffs threatening to impact consumer choice and affordability on both sides of the Channel. The group stressed that the end of barrier-free trade could bring harmful disruption to the industry’s just- in-time operating model, with the cost of just one minute of production stoppage in the UK alone amounting to £50,000. Meanwhile, WTO tariffs on cars and vans could add £5 billion to the collective EU-UK auto trade bill, raising prices for customers if manufacturers cannot absorb the additional cost.
Bernhard Mattes, VDA President, said, “We regret Brexit. The United Kingdom is a fully integrated player in the value chain of the German Automotive Industry. More than 100 production facilities as well as research and development located in the UK prove our commitment to the UK-market as a number one market in the EU. The EU and UK automotive industry need frictionless trade and would be harmed significantly by additional duties and administrative burden on automotive parts and vehicles. Consequently, the UK and the EU should undertake all necessary steps to avoid a ‘no deal’ Brexit.”
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “European Automotive is deeply integrated and the benefits of free and frictionless trade have helped our sector become one of Europe’s most valuable assets, delivering billions to economies and supporting millions of livelihoods across the EU. A ‘no deal’ Brexit would have an immediate and devastating impact on the industry, undermining competitiveness and causing irreversible and severe damage. UK and EU negotiators have a responsibility to work together to agree a deal or risk destroying this vital pillar of our economies.”
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