The European car industry warned on Thursday against the disastrous effects that Brexit could have on this sector which employs nearly 12.2 million people on the continent.
Two days before an extraordinary summit of the 27 EU in Brussels intended to adopt“guidelines for negotiations” of the Union on the Brexit, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), the subcontractor (CLEPA ) and the Association of manufacturers and car dealers in Britain (SMMT) have claimed their concerns about the disruption that could cause the exit of Britain from the EU, at a press conference in Brussels.
The single European market has in effect guaranteed between the UK and other EU countries trade without customs duty not only on cars but also for parts used for assembly.
“Not having a customs duty ‘
“Currently, the automotive industries of the EU and the UK are tightly integrated (…) Any change in this level of integration will certainly have a negative impact on manufacturers in the EU and in Britain” , Erik warned Jonnaert, Secretary General of ACEA.
“The goal should really be to limit the impact of Brexit (…) Having no customs duty is an obvious starting point” , insisted Sigrid de Vries, General Secretary of CLPEA. “If tariffs were imposed, it would in one way or another offset these costs and this would have an impact on subcontractors, manufacturers, but also the customers, as prices of cars will increase and this affect demand, profitability and will have an effect on employment, “ said Ms. de Vries.
7 of 10 cars sold in the UK come from the EU
Asked about the number of jobs that could cost Brexit Mr. Jonnaert refused to “speculate” on a number, indicating that it would depend on the negotiations.
Mike Hawes, SMMT CEO, also stressed what the loss could represent for the sector starting for the British personnel because of difficult living conditions after the Brexit.
More than half of the cars and 90% of the trucks manufactured in Britain last year were purchased by customers in Europe. Conversely, seven cars out of ten sold in the UK come from the EU.