The British car industry was strongly in favour of staying in the EU. What does it have to say now we’re leaving?

The UK is to leave the European Union.

What does this mean for the UK car industry? Earlier in the year the vast majority of the UK’s industry, represented by the SMMT, said it wanted to remain part of the European Union.

So what does it have to say now? We speak to key manufacturers invested heavily in Britain to gauge their opinions of Brexit. You can read more about the impacts of Brexit on motoring on our sister site, WhatCar?, here.


“BMW Group respects the British electorate’s decision to leave the EU. While it is clear there will now be a period of uncertainty, there will be no immediate change to our operations in the UK."


“Ford’s priority has always been the need to maintain a stable trading environment so that we can continue building a strong and sustainably profitable business in the UK and Europe, and thereby provide a more secure future for our nearly 14,000 direct employees in the UK.

“We will continue working toward this goal with key stakeholders in the UK and across the other Member States and EU institutions to ensure they understand our concerns, which mirror those of the majority of the UK and European auto industry.

“While Ford will take whatever action is needed to ensure that our European business remains competitive and keeps to the path toward sustainable profitability, we have made no changes to our current investment plans and will not do so unless there is clear evidence that action is needed.”

Jaguar Land Rover

"For Jaguar Land Rover, today is just business as usual. We are a British business with a strong manufacturing base in this country, we call Britain home and we remain committed to all our manufacturing sites and investment decisions.

"We respect the decision of the British people and in common with all other businesses, Jaguar Land Rover will analyse the issues arising from it: as of today, nothing has changed for us or the rest of the British automotive industry. 

"Europe is a key strategic market for our business, comprising 20% of global sales, and we remain absolutely committed to our customers in the EU.

"There will be a significant negotiating period, and we need to understand more about that as details emerge. We will work hard with all parties to ensure that the importance of the British automotive industry is fully understood at every level of the negotiation process."


"The decision of the British public to leave the EU may result in a period of economic uncertainty, at least until the ramifications of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU are understood. 

"We suspect that the individual issues will be resolved progressively over time and that economic certainty will return at the same rate as the situation is resolved. We would encourage policy makers to expedite the process of renegotiation from the EU and trading agreements as quickly as possible so as to return to economic normality. 

"However our recently announced Track22 business plan remains unchanged and we believe we will continue on our path to a prosperous future."


Nissan has so far declined to comment, but it did announce plans to sue the Vote Leave campaign earlier this week.


"Going forward, we will closely monitor and analyse the impact on our business operations in the UK, and how we can maintain competitiveness and secure sustainable growth together with the UK automotive industry and other stakeholders."


“It is important for Vauxhall that negotiations on the UK’s future relationship with the EU are concluded in a timely manner. It is also important that business continues to benefit from the free movement of goods and people during this period.

“Communication on the development of the future relationship with the EU should also be clear and transparent. We fully support remaining part of the European Economic Area.”

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)

“The British public has chosen a new future out of Europe. Government must now maintain economic stability and secure a deal with the EU which safeguards UK automotive interests.

“This includes securing tariff-free access to European and other global markets, ensuring we can recruit talent from the EU and the rest of the world and making the UK the most competitive place in Europe for automotive investment.”

Our Verdict

Ford Focus RS

Is Ford’s new AWD mega-hatch Focus RS as special as we first thought? And can it beat off stiff competition from the Volkswagen Golf R and Mercedes-AMG A45?

Join the debate


24 June 2016
BMW, VW/audi and Benz will be the most nervous, they'll be lobying their government for favourable conditions for the British car industry, in return for favourable conditios for German cars in UK.

24 June 2016

24 June 2016
in the UK auto industry will reconsider expanding production facilities in the UK. PSA, for instance, may come under pressure to relocate back to France or Spain. BMW may well decide to bring part of the Mini production in Oxford over to foreign plants like NedCar in the Netherlands. All dependent of course on the outcome of the trade negotiations. Forget about participating in the many EU funding programs to stimulate Green Car innovation.

24 June 2016
Lets get one thing quite clear! ENGLAND voted to leave the EU, SCOTLAND completely voted to remain.
There will now be an Independence Referendum in Scotland which will pass.
Finally we will have our own oil which has been stolen by Westminster since the 70's


24 June 2016
Yes and theres now the real possibility of NI leaving the UK too and all the problems that will cause, the UK will regrettably now fall apart too, a very sad day for the UK, the EU and the world.

25 June 2016
NI will not be leaving the UK. The vote was about one thing, leave or remain in EU. If the vote is to leave UK, the result would be very different


24 June 2016
Good luck to getting Membership this side of 2030! As a net benefitter of UK rebates, god speed on yer own without England!
Sarky traffic cops before speed cameras were invented.......... "Having trouble taking off Wing Commander?"

26 June 2016
madmac wrote:

Lets get one thing quite clear! ENGLAND voted to leave the EU, SCOTLAND completely voted to remain.
There will now be an Independence Referendum in Scotland which will pass.
Finally we will have our own oil which has been stolen by Westminster since the 70's

Remind me again, exactly how much investment did "Scotland" just Scotland, not the UK make in the North Sea Oil Industry, the wells may be in Scotlands waters, but you didnt pay to build or maintain them, and they belong to the oil companies, not the Scottish.

27 June 2016
madmac wrote:

Lets get one thing quite clear! ENGLAND voted to leave the EU, SCOTLAND completely voted to remain.
There will now be an Independence Referendum in Scotland which will pass.
Finally we will have our own oil which has been stolen by Westminster since the 70's

Good luck with that. Oil is currently $47 a barrel lol. Won't be enough haggis or Whiskey sales for Jimmy Krankie to make any kind of go of it. Also, Spain has already objected to Scotland joining as an independent state. Basically they would be like Iceland without the Uk. Deal with the democratic process.


17 October 2016
We need to go for the best rate of our car.


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