It has been held up as a shining example of Britain’s manufacturing industry, but the nation’s leading role in producing luxury vehicles could be imperilled by a bad Brexit deal.
That’s the verdict of a new report, which has paid tribute to the UK’s expertise when it comes to low-volume, high-value car production.
The study has been prepared by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and reveals that 32,000 vehicles rolled off the production line last year. This generated turnover of more than £3.6billion.
However, the trade body fears that Britain’s manufacturers may find that our imminent departure from the European Union (EU) could pose a number of problems.
The chief concern is that firms will no longer have the same influence over the policies which can have a considerable impact on the creation of cutting-edge technology.
Mike Hawes, the SMMT’s chief executive, said: “Our specialist car manufacturing sector is one of the UK’s global success stories – making world-leading products and pioneering next generation technologies that benefit everyone.
“For this to continue we need certainty on Britain’s future trading relationships, including customs plans, market access, regulations governing the design, production and approval of vehicles. This will provide the assurance the sector needs to remain competitive and make investment decisions that enable it to continue to develop innovative, exciting and desirable products that are the envy of the world.”
Andy Palmer, the chief executive of world-famous car marque Aston Martin, remained optimistic that a deal would be possible.
“I’m sure there will be an agreement – the UK is too important for European manufacturers,” he said.
Aston Martin is of course one of the leading lights of high-end vehicle production, with other UK success stories including McClaren and TVR.
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