Brexit deal must be secured to save UK car market and avoid price rises says SMMT

Brexit deal must be secured to save UK car market and avoid price rises says SMMT

Chiefs warn leaving the European Union without an agreement would cause a devastating impact on the UK automotive industry. Independent research conducted by the SMMT revealed WTO tariffs for car parts and vehicles would add £3.2billion a year to total industry outgoings.

“The next government must deliver the ambition, the competitive business environment and the commitment needed to keep automotive in Britain.”

The SMMT has previously raised their concerns on a no-deal Brexit, warning leaving without an agreement would impact the sector and the thousands of jobs it supports.

The group have claimed a ten percent WTO tariff could add as much as £1.8billion to the cost of exporting vehicles and £2.7billion to import prices.

SMMT has also warned about the potential loss of the industry’s workforce after claiming at least ten percent of people employed in the automotive industry come from an EU member state.

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BMW and MINI also confirmed prices for vehicles would rise if WTO tariffs are applied in a no-deal Brexit scenario.

SMMT President George Gillespie said: “The automotive sector is going through a period of unprecedented change and we must not let the pressure of Brexit deflect from our focus on a coherent national industrial strategy.”

He added: “We want to work closely with the next government, as we have in the past; united in a common purpose to keep UK Automotive a global player that drives employment, creates wealth and gives all of us pride in what we can do here.”

The latest SMMT data revealed the sector is going through monumental change as electric car sales continue to rise at the expense of traditional models.

October’s data revealed battery electric vehicles had seen a 125.1 percent rise in sales year-on-year in 2019.

Sales of Hybrid and mild Hybrid vehicles were also up as the diesel market saw sales drop by 21.2 percent compared to results in 2018.

In his manifesto, Boris Johnson confirmed a Conservative majority government would allocate £400m to electric car infrastructure.

Labour has also promised extra money with a previous commitment to a £3.6billion funding boost for electric car chargers.

Transport Secretary Grat Shapps recently claimed there are more publicly accessible electric charging points than petrol stations in the UK.

However, he admitted there were hgaps in provision in some areas as he revealed there were over 100 local authorities with fewer than 10 public charging stations per 100,000 people.

Published at Tue, 26 Nov 2019 20:31:00 +0000