No-Deal Brexit could be a threat to the UK motor industry
The society has called on Brexit negotiators to be “pragmatic” and secure a withdrawal agreement to “avoid damaging one of the European Union's’ most valuable economic assets”.
The SMMT met with EU representatives in Brussels highlighting the importance of the European Union's automotive industry and lay out the repercussions if no deal is reached.
If all goes south in the Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU, it could mean at least £5bn in tariffs and the SMMT organisation said, this would be just the tip of the iceberg as any levies could push the cost of UK-built cars sold in the EU up by an average of £2,700 (€3,063). This would heavily affect demand and therefore profitability.
It is estimated that for UK buyers, EU-made cars would go up, by as much as £1,700, (€1,928) if manufacturers and dealerships cannot absorb the costs that tariffs would bring. The chief executive of the SMMT’s, Mike Hawes, said:
Honda is concerned about a no-deal Brexit and said that this scenario would cost it tens of millions of pounds. BMW also said it would move a planned shutdown of its Mini plant in Oxford forward to coincide with the beginning of Brexit in order to minimise the risk of disruption.
Jaguar Land Rover has moved workers to a three-day week at its Castle Bromwich plant because of what they say is “continuing headwinds impacting the car industry”. Ralf Speth, who is the company’s chief executive warned that tens of thousands of jobs in the UK motor industry are at risk if a no-deal Brexit goes ahead.