Britain produces lots of vehicles, unfortunately most of the brands are owned by non British companies, but that’s another story. What will happen to this industry if we leave the EU?
Last year Nissan produced 500,238 vehicles, Jaguar/Land Rover produced 449,507, Mini produced 178,993, Toyota produced 172,215, Honda produced 121,799, Vauxhall produced 77,836 Vans and DAF produced 15,400 Lorries. Reference .
If we left the EU, would we be able to export these vehicles quite so easily into Europe? More than half of the cars we export go to Europe. If Britain lost access to the Single Market, manufacturers will be likely to face the same 10 per cent tariff on their exports to the EU as non-EU countries do. Surely companies like Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat, Seat, Volkswagen/Audi, Volvo and Mercedes, would lobby their governments to make it as difficult as possible for Britain to export the cars they produce. Thus increasing their own sales.
Also the companies now based in the UK might decide it was in their best interests to relocate into an EU country, thus overcoming any import restrictions. Also geographically being in mainland Europe might be more convenient, no expensive channel crossings or operation stacks to contend with, and shorter delivery distances.
According to the UK automotive web site in 2013 there were 731,000 people employed, and exports were 1,249,305 vehicles. Reference
The Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders SMMT said in January 2016
- UK car manufacturing reaches 10-year high, growing 3.9% to 1,587,677 vehicles.
- More cars exported than ever before, up 2.7% on previous year at 1,227,881.
- Domestic production surges 8.1% to 359,796 to meet increasing demand for British-built cars.
- EU demand grows 11.3%, with 57.5% of exports destined for the continent.
It is not surprising then that the SMMT said that ‘More than three-quarters of members of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders stated that if a referendum on EU membership were held tomorrow, a ‘remain’ outcome would be best for their businesses’ reference Oh, and 14% did not know and only 9% wanted out.
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