UK Car Manufacturers Are Not Ready For Brexit, Warns SMMT Chief Executive

Mike Hawes, the chief executive of UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said that the British motor industry is not ready for Brexit, with car makers being increasingly concerned about the looming prospect of a no-deal divorce with the EU.

Production of vehicles in the UK dropped by 47 percent in June, with SMMT calling it an anomaly due to model cycles, operational changes and preparation for the new WLTP emission standards.

However, Hawes said that the figures are a “reminder of the exports-led nature” of the UK car industry, according to the Guardian. The head of SMMT added that this showed the importance of UK striking a deal with the EU, which is the destination for 53 percent of UK car exports, warning that a lack of clarity on Brexit has left the industry struggling to prepare for the country’s departure in March 2019.

“No one would profess to being Brexit-ready because there are too many variables in there,” he said. “We need a deal. If we have no deal, there is no transition, there is no implementation period, that would kick in less than eight months away. You can operate on WTO [World Trade Organization] trade rules but it would be at a significant extra cost and burden than we currently enjoy.”

When asked if there were any potential Brexit benefits for UK’s automotive industry, Hawes said: “Not that we can see.”

The lack of clarity is already taking its toll on the industry as investments have collapsed, while Jaguar Land Rover said that a no-deal Brexit could force them to pull out of the UK.

“Given the cost of stopping production, manufacturers will do everything they can to stop that happening,” Hawes said, adding that this would cost millions of pounds per day.

“You survive on the basis that you’re competitive. Once you cease to be competitive – you generally don’t shut overnight – but your ability to attract that next round of investment is that much tougher. Gradually, it’s a death by a thousand cuts.”

  • Six_Tymes

    the sky is falling!

  • KareKakk

    If EU won’t do business with GB just because they don’t want to be a part of EU, EU shows their true face at least. Brits should be happy to leave such a degenerated union and instead say hello to the rest of the world. “Either you’re with us, or you’re against us”. Can’t believe citizens of EU accept such politics of their leaders. And GB should remember most countries in the world are not member of EU, and many of them manage to survive just fine anyway.

2020 Fiat 500e Spied, Promises To Be An “Urban Tesla”

Fiat is working on a new 500e and it should improve on the current model which has a range of just 84 miles.

Lotus Gunning For Nurburgring Record With All-Electric Evija

The Lotus Evija features four electric motors pumping out a total of 1,973 hp.

2020 BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe: Latest Spy Shots Give Us Our Best Look Yet

BMW will give us a first official glimpse of the new 2-Series Gran Coupe on July 24.

Facelifted 2020 BMW 5-Series Sedan Boasts Larger Grille, New Headlights

BMW has only recently begun testing facelifted 5-Series models on public roads, all of them of the PHEV variety.

2020 Bentley Flying Spur First Edition Announced As Content-Rich Limited Model

The Bentley Flying Spur First Edition will only be built for 12 months starting at the end of 2019.

Personalize Your Mazda MX-5 With The Optional Cup And Design Packs

The Cup and Design Packs can be fitted to all fourth-gen Mazda MX-5 roadsters.

Toyota And BYD To Co-Develop Electric Vehicles For China

Toyota and BYD will develop sedans and low-floor SUVs, as well as onboard batteries.

New BMW X6 M Ain’t Scared Of No ‘Vettes, Chases Them At The Track

The X6 M is no sports car, but given its performance-oriented nature, it’s no surprise that it’s being honed at the ‘Ring.

Jannarelly Design-1 Sports Car Making UK Debut At Salon Privé

The Design-1 was drawn up by the same man who designed the Lykan HyperSport.

Spend The Day Building 2020 Corvette Stingray Of Your Dreams With New Configurator

If you’re like us, you’ll spend hours playing with the Corvette C8’s online configurator.