Currently reading: No-deal Brexit would cost UK car makers billions in emission fines
Line-ups of more than 40 UK-based manufacturers would fall foul of government-imposed CO2 regulations
Julian Rendell
News
3 mins read
1 July 2019

A no-deal Brexit could cost the UK automotive industry at least £3 billion in CO2-related fines, Autocar has learned.

The costs represent the fines that would be racked up by the 40-plus manufacturers operating in the UK and who would fall foul of the 95g/km fleet average CO2 figure, which the government has pledged to implement unilaterally if the UK goes-it-alone in October.

A spokesman for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said: “The European CO2 Directive allows manufacturers flexibility to balance their emissions performance across all relevant European markets. A no deal Brexit would, however, remove this flexibility, which may make reduction targets far harder for some manufacturers, given the UK model mix may differ from a European average. 

“If this meant additional fines were to be levied on UK companies, the effects could be hugely damaging, reducing consumer choice, undermining competitiveness and restricting future R&D spend. This is yet more evidence of the severe consequences for the British automotive industry from a disorderly Brexit - no deal must be ruled out immediately.” Although the concept of the UK adopting the 95g/km CO2 average has been well-flagged – it was a key element in government No Deal Brexit planning documents – the impact on individual car-makers and the industry as a whole is only just starting to emerge.

The significant issue is that the UK fleet average figure would be based purely on UK sales, making it less likely for sales of heavier cars with larger engines, especially the growing mix of SUVs models, to be balanced out by cheaper, lower polluting city cars and superminis.

One mass-market manufacturer that Autocar spoke to has carried out an internal audit of its annual new car sales and calculated its fleet mix of petrol, diesel, hybrid and electrified models would rack up around £100m in fines.

The fines could be reduced by altering the mix of powertrains in favour of more electrified models, but factory capacity for such a dramatic short-term change in output is limited, largely because CO2-planning is being organised on an EU-wide basis and production plans for 2020/2021 have already been committed.

More diesels would help cut CO2 figures – but the government is actively shutting down that route by demonising diesel with threatened policy initiatives that have cut consumer demand.

Across Europe, brands have been planning their CO2 fleet averages with sales of larger cars in northern Europe balanced out by smaller cars in southern Europe. The UK’s Brexit plan cuts the UK industry off from this product planning mix, exposing UK car companies to huge fines.

The manufacturer that Autocar spoke to has ‘gamed’ several potential scenarios, the most severe of which would require a 20 per cent cut in sales in 2021 and a significant drop in profitability. Although that would reduce fines to a more reasonable £5m to £10m, the effect on its business would be dramatic.

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25

1 July 2019
Emissions regulations reduce consumer choice. Emissions regulations increase costs.

1 July 2019
jason_recliner wrote:

Emissions regulations reduce consumer choice. Emissions regulations increase costs.

Emissions regulations relating to cars have existed since the 1970s, smoke free zones since the 1960s and public health has been preventing air pollution back into the 1800s. The economy seems more than able to survive 'emissions regulations'. 

1 July 2019
jason_recliner wrote:

Emissions regulations reduce consumer choice. Emissions regulations increase costs.

Consumer choice, indeed. Soon we'll all be sitting in queues down the motorway waiting for a charging point to become free.

The government is forcing car makers to electrification at an accelerated rate while doing NOTHING about our electrical infrastructure.

We are building some more wind turbines, which are ok I guess - but we don't have sufficient storage in the grid, and we need an alternative source of power for lulls in wind generation. As we're obviously not building any fossil fuelled plants - that's nuclear.

We haven't commissioned any new nuclear plants, we have one ongoing and behind schedule - but we need 2 or 3 on the go?

1 July 2019
CarNut170 wrote:

jason_recliner wrote:

Emissions regulations reduce consumer choice. Emissions regulations increase costs.

Consumer choice, indeed. Soon we'll all be sitting in queues down the motorway waiting for a charging point to become free.

The government is forcing car makers to electrification at an accelerated rate while doing NOTHING about our electrical infrastructure.

We are building some more wind turbines, which are ok I guess - but we don't have sufficient storage in the grid, and we need an alternative source of power for lulls in wind generation. As we're obviously not building any fossil fuelled plants - that's nuclear.

We haven't commissioned any new nuclear plants, we have one ongoing and behind schedule - but we need 2 or 3 on the go?

 

wind turbines are NOT ok. They destroy nature both on the ground and in the air (birds), scientifically proven.

THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH!

1 July 2019

This government is back stabbing not only the people but businesses.

 

Already promising to leave farmers worse off becuase of Brexit, they're lying to fishermen that they won't be any conservation measures.   Now the automotive industry is being threatened by emissions fines.

 

Might as well put "Closed due to Brexit" on Britain's door.

 

1 July 2019

What point are you trying to make?

1 July 2019
Boris9119 wrote:

What point are you trying to make?

It's disingenuous to blame Brexit for the increase in prices and decrease in choice associated with emissions regulations. Those regulations have removed certain vehicles from the market - e.g. carburetor fed V8s - and increased prices - catalytic converters and the like cost money.

I'm not arguing for or against emissions regulations, just pointing out that Governments accepted the inevitable impacts (justified by less pollution) when enacting those regulations. To blame Brexit for the consequences is laughable.

1 July 2019

Anthropogenic "climate change" is merely a method to CONTROL the individual. Those who believe in what their left-leaning Gov't tell them actually despise and abhor Liberty and Individual Choice. You just do 

1 July 2019

Naysayers are going to kill the planet for our grandchildren. 

1 July 2019

Why keep using this phrase? The planet will not die because of climate change. It has undergone massive climatic shifts over millennia, but has not ‘died’. Yes, these changes have periodically had catastrophic impacts on those species unable to survive and adapt, but planet earth marches on. Obviously we and and other species will be affected by climate change, and it is right that action is taken when we believe humanity may be in influencing atmospheric changes that will harm us and other life that shares our planet. We shouldn’t confuse this with the notion that climate change will kill the planet.

 

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