Brexit's automageddon looms large

Brexit's automageddon looms large

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The UK auto manufacturing sector will lose 12% of its output and face over £3bn in new annual tariffs if there’s a no-deal Brexit. British car makers built 1.5m cars last year, most of which were exported to the EU, the US, and elsewhere.

A newly published book, Keeping the Wheels on the Road: UK Auto after Brexit, states that annual auto production would be cut by a 175,000 vehicles following a no-deal Brexit. And that’s in addition to the 160,000 loss from Honda, which just announced that it would close its sole UK factory in Swindon in 2021.

“There’s a sense that the industry is at a tipping point, squeezed by diesel’s demise, falling sales in China, and Brexit uncertainty hampering growth — plus the need to invest in new technology,” says professor David Bailey of Aston University, one of the book’s editors

Investment in the UK automotive sector has certainly stalled, and is down 80% in the last three years according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

“The UK risks losing a wave of investment, and with it, a raft of new technologies,” Bailey adds.

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