UK’s thriving auto industry could suffer from Brexit
Automotive sales could slow significantly if the UK leaves the EU
Last year’s impressive auto industry figures could be the last for Britain if the country votes “yes” in this year’s expected European Union referendum.
Britain’s automotive industry was back to booming in 2015, recording the best yearly result since 2005, when the country’s economy was rocked by the financial crisis. In fact, figures from 2015 show that the year’s production total was only a few thousand below that of 2005.
According to figures from the Society of Motor Manufactueres and Traders (SMMT), Britain produced an impressive 1,587,677 vehicles last year, which is an overall increase on 2014 by 3.9 per cent. Despite this positive news, those within the automotive industry are justifiably concerned that a “yes” vote in the promised EU referendum, could result in a significant set-back to the industry and to Britain’s economy in general.
Paul Newton, director of industry and market intelligence at IHS Automotive, commented: “The EU is by far our biggest export market and leaving it would have a massive impact with the possible end of free trade agreements.”
And Mr Newton’s warning is not unfounded; statistics from SMMT reveal that 77.3 per cent of the cars produced in the UK last year were exported; 57.5 per cent were exported to European countries, while 10.9 per cent crossed the Atlantic to the US. However, there was a significant decrease in demand for British cars from China and Russia, due to the economical situations in both these countries.
Paul Newton added that the mere possibility of a Brexit could slow down the British automotive industry and that “no manufacturing industry would be more affected by a vote to leave than automotive.”
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