Brexit: Motorists are backing a trade agreement and more UK factories 0

Brexit-Motorists-are-backing-a-trade-agreement-and-more-UK-factoriesUK motorists are no longer fearing the worst when contemplating the automotive industry in a post-Brexit Britain with thousands looking forward to opportunities such as free trade, British-made cars and better jobs.

A new study conducted by Servicing Stop, asked more than 1,600 motorists about what they think might happen once Britain leaves the European Union – it seems there’s still hope.

Overwhelmingly, 40% of motorists believe that once the divorce has been settled between Britain and Europe, manufacturers will start producing parts and cars in the UK bringing in more business and a lot more jobs.

A third more are looking towards a trade agreement which would prevent tariffs being imposed on imports and exports, and more than a quarter are conflicted in believing that UK manufacturers will move outside of Britain and into Europe, robbing Brits of their jobs but keeping the cost of production at bay.

The entire industry, including manufacturers and servicing providers, are backing a trade agreement in a bid to preserve free trade and prevent production costs increasing by thousands of pounds per vehicle.

Just 41% of the parts assembled in British cars are made in the country, and while this has increased from 36% in 2014 it does not justify the amount of vehicles the nation exports to Europe, which is as many as 80% each year.

While a trade agreement would be most beneficial for the automotive industry – backed by experts across the field – the 26% of motorists who believe UK manufacturers could move offshore may have a point as the European boss of Toyota warned that tariff-free access to Europe was vital to the success of its British Burnaston plant.

PSA; the company behind Peugeot, closed its £1.9 billion deal in March to buy Vauxhall and Opel from General Motors Europe and announced it may result in job losses and factory closures. The French automotive manufacturer also fear that Brexit could make the UK plants less competitive while BMW announced it could; in the worst case scenario, make its electric mini in Germany and not in Oxford as originally planned.

There may still be hope however as Spanish body parts manufacturer Gastamp announced a £70m investment into its Staffordshire plant; Toyota has confirmed a £240m investment in its Derbyshire plant; Nissan is expanding its Sunderland factory and Jaguar Land Rover supplier Magna is set to build a facility in Telford.

When asked what the benefits of Britain leaving Europe will be to the automotive industry, more than 40% of motorists said that Britain would be able to forge trade relationships with countries outside of the European Union including China, the USA and India. A further quarter of people believe that British-made cars could become more popular and more than one fifth believe more factories will be built in Britain. 9% of motorists also believe more jobs will be on offer to British people as a result.

CEO and founder of Servicing Stop, Oly Richmond, said: “The one phrase we keep hearing, no matter what the industry, is ‘these are uncertain times’. The reason it is used over and over again is because there is simply no other word to describe our current predicament in the fall-out between Britain and Europe.

“We do not know what will happen to the automotive industry in a post-Brexit Britain but we can hope that a trade agreement is settled, free trade prospers and prices remain relative to what we see today. What I can say is it is great to see motorists keeping the faith and patriotic spirit alive. What will be will be, but we won’t stop trying to make it work.”

This guest blog was written by Servicing Stop PR Executive Jacqueline Gordon.

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