EU Motor Industry Leaders Warn of Cost of No Deal Brexit
With just over one month to go before the UK is due to leave the EU, the European automotive industry is making a united call for the avoidance of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
Two leading representative organisations across the EU, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) and European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA), as well as 21 national associations, have joined forces to stress the impact a ‘no deal’ Brexit would have on one of Europe’s most valuable economic assets.
Amongst the 21 national associations are the Committee of French Automobile Manufacturers (CCFA), the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
In a joint statement the industry representatives warn of the catastrophic consequences of a no deal Brexit which they say could lead to a €5.7 billion bill for EU/UK industry and consumers should World Trade Organisation tariffs be introduced on cars and vans.
According to the statement the UK’s departure from the EU without a deal would trigger a seismic shift in trading conditions. The end of barrier-free trade could bring harmful disruption to the industry’s just-in-time operating model, with the cost of just one minute of production stoppage in the UK alone amounting to €54,700 (£50,000).
Sigrid de Vries, Secretary General, of the CLEPA said, ‘The European automotive industry is operating highly integrated global supply chains. A single vehicle consists of around 30,000 parts many of which cross borders multiple times. Frictionless and tariff-free trade, as well as regulatory certainty, is vital. Brexit has a negative effect on all these aspects. Brexit, specifically a no-deal Brexit, will be seriously damaging to the supplier’s industry in Europe and the UK and must be avoided.’
According to Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of SMMT, the British representative association, ‘European Automotive is deeply integrated and the benefits of free and frictionless trade have helped our sector become one of Europe’s most valuable assets, delivering billions to economies and supporting millions of livelihoods across the EU. A ‘no deal’ Brexit would have an immediate and devastating impact on the industry, undermining competitiveness and causing irreversible and severe damage. UK and EU negotiators have a responsibility to work together to agree a deal.’
European Automotive Manufacturers Association statistics show that the European automotive industry produces 19.1 million vehicles a year, employing 13.8 million people across the wider sector which accounts for 6.1% of total EU employment.