The UK car manufacturing industry has taken a direct hit by the Britain first Brexit mentality. Uncertainty over Brexit and whether it will actually happen has forced UK car manufacturers to implement costly and futile safeguards to protect the future viability of manufacturing in the short-medium term. The Brexit impasse led to car manufacturers stopping production early, a process that is routinely scheduled during the summer holidays. If Brexit were to be delayed again, a second shutdown would cause further economic strife.
The SMMT reported car production fell by 44.5 percent in April compared to last year. That’s a total of 70,971 cars, 59,999 less than the same period last year. That 59,000 reduction, if we use a rough calculation, equates to around $2bn in lost sales.
A typical Brexit shutdown involved rerouting of logistics, stockpiling and training for new customs procedures. The European Union has set the new Brexit deadline for October 31. If it is delayed again uncertainty could cause yet more economic woes.
The car industry is against a no deal “Britain first” Brexit and wants to retain frictionless trade with key European supply chains. Essentially Brexit without Brexit ever happening. The SMMT predicts UK car production will fall 10 percent during 2019.
SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes, said: “Today’s figures are evidence of the vast cost and upheaval Brexit uncertainty has already wrought on UK automotive manufacturing businesses and workers.
“Prolonged instability has done untold damage, with the fear of ‘no deal’ holding back progress, causing investment to stall, jobs to be lost and undermining our global reputation.”
“This is why ‘no deal’ must be taken off the table immediately and permanently, so industry can get back to the business of delivering for the economy and keeping the UK at the forefront of the global technology race.”