Following the Brexit last week, European automakers are calling for tariff-free trading
The day after the UK voted and Brexit won, automakers are now calling for tariff-free trade to be sustained between Britain and the EU, following fears that production and sales will suffer in Europe’s second largest auto market.
Many of the giant automakers have expressed their concern, after the UK voted to leave the EU.
BMW, who build cars in the UK, have spoken about a ‘period of uncertainty’ but say that no immediate changes will be made at its UK plants.
Opel, the European branch of General Motors, said how important for its UK based Vauxhall Division, that Britain is allowed to stay part of the European Economic Area, to permit free movement of goods inside Europe.
Ford Motors, who have three plants across the UK, say that no investment plans have been changed as yet but will do whatever it takes ‘to ensure that our European business remains competitive.’
Aston Martin, the UK’s luxury sports-car brand, have pressed the government in the UK to protect tariff-free access to EU markets.
Today, Jaguar Land Rover said that they remain committed to all their investment decisions and manufacturing sites.
The auto industry, throughout the UK, has seen a big resurgence over the past few years but the vast majority are still owned by foreign companies.
Japan’s Honda, Nissan and Toyota all have car plants in the UK, which were largely set up to export to the EU.
The UK’s second largest car maker, Nissan, did not want to make any comments. Nissan builds 475,000 cars per year in the UK and has been in Britain for three decades.
Honda said they will keep a close eye on future developments but are sill preparing for the production launch at their UK plant, of the new Honda Civic.
“The UK is the biggest single export market for German automakers,” head of the VDA (the country’s auto industry association) Matthias Wissmann said.
“Europe’s politicians must now work to keep tariff-free trade between the EU and the U.K.” he added.
Automakers are now asking the big question – “What kind of trade deals with the EU would be negotiated. That is the big unknown.” said one executive global automaker.
At the moment, exports from the UK to the EU are free of tariffs and duties.
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