The automotive industry will be dramatically affected by Brexit if there are any major changes to the way it currently works across Europe and the UK, according to the European automotive body, the European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association (ACEA) and CLEPA, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s EU-Brexit Summit, ACEA Secretary General Erik Jonnaert noted that today, the industry in the UK and Europe is closely integrated “from the economic, regulatory and technical points of view”. He said: “Any changes to this level of integration will most certainly have an adverse impact on automobile manufacturers with operations in the EU or the UK, as well as on the European economy in general.”
It is the first time the European bodies have spoken out on the matter, and echoes the views of the British Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, according to its chief executive Mike Hawes. He said: "We're keen to stress that the UK automotive industry is part of the European industry. These European organisations clearly reflect their members' interest. The fact that they are aligned with us is an important message."
According to the ACEA and CLEPA, the impact is most likely to be felt in areas incuding tariffs, customs procedures, the regulatory framework and access to labour. Tariffs, for instance, could amount to 10% for passenger cars, 10 to 22% for commercial vehicles, and 3 to 4% on average for parts and components.
Sigrid de Vries, Secretary General of CLEPA, echoed Jonnaert’s views, saying: “The EU Single Market represents a fundamental driver of global competitiveness. Vehicle manufacturers and component suppliers are entangled in a highly integrated manufacturing network spanning Europe.