2017-08-05 08:52:23 UTC
wipe out small suppliers, says Britains motor society
"As the latest car figures show that uncertainty over Brexit is
helping to drag down sales, motor manufacturers fear the industrys
revival over the past couple of decades could be put at risk by
Britains departure from the European Union.
"Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and
Traders (SMMT), said: 'A lot of people have spent the best part of
decades turning round the industry, when you think back to how it was
characterised in the 70s, 80s and into the 90s. It is very different
now. It has had very difficult times and it is a cyclical industry,
and there is a fear that that success could be put at jeopardy.'"
"Before the referendum a survey of the SMMTs 700 members, which
include manufacturers such as Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and Toyota as
well as small and medium sized supply chain companies, found that 80%
wanted Britain to stay in the EU, with only 10% backing leave. Hawes
said the vote was 'a shock to everybody,' and now 'people have gone
beyond bewilderment' to try and work out what the potential impact
"While impossible to quantify precisely, Hawes said the cost must be
multi-millions of pounds already, including for consultants advising
on Brexit implications. This work is almost entirely negative, he
said, because it involves looking at future possibilities all
considered worse than the frictionless relationship the industry
currently has with the EU.
"And even though the effects of Brexit might not be immediate, that
did not mean they could be shrugged off.
" 'We always said there will not be an immediate closure of plants
because the investments are fixed for many companies,' Hawes said.
'The impact is always going to be more gradual, and you are seeing
that now: prices going up, demand is softening, investment decisions
are on hold.'"
"Hawes said he does not believe people have understood that Britains
free trade deals with 57 other countries through the EUs current
agreements will also fall away after Brexit. And he found particularly
frustrating the 'misguided' view expressed by some prominent leave
campaigners that the German car industry would press chancellor Angela
Merkel to give the UK a good EU deal, because they export in
significant numbers to Britain.
" 'We consistently said do not expect that. The European market and to
a certain extent the European project is more important to them than
the UK, so they want to safeguard the four freedoms which benefit
them. If any sector has really benefitted from growth and development
across Europe, its the German car industry. It is frustrating and it
also reveals a lack of understanding of the way markets operate.'"
Will the bad news about Brexit EVER cease?
Not until the government throws in the towel and declares we are not
leaving after all.
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