Carmakers drive to Brexit cliff edge
UK car makers have spent at least £330m to date on Brexit mitigation measures. Manufacturers have invested in stockpiling materials and components and new logistics solutions, securing warehousing capacity, and in training in new customs procedures, according to the latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
Just 667,000 cars rolled off production lines in the first six months of 2019. This was down 168,000 units year on year due largely to falling demand in key markets, exacerbated by factory shutdowns pulled forward in anticipation of the March 2019 Brexit deadline.
And inward investment into the sector effectively stopped in the first half as newly pledged spending slumped more than 70% to £90m. Average annual investment ran to £2.7bn over the previous seven years.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes says the figures are the result of global instability compounded by the threat of ‘no deal’. This fear is causing investment to stall, as hundreds of millions of pounds are diverted to Brexit cliff-edge mitigation – money that would be better spent tackling technological and environmental challenges,” he states.