While the motor industry in Ireland is currently working its way back from the impact of Covid-19, the UK’s motor industry faces the prospect of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, on top of the damage caused by the pandemic.
The chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Mike Hawes has warned that the UK’s car manufacturing sector could not endure the “further shock” a ‘no deal’ Brexit would bring, as it attempts to recover from the coronavirus lockdown.
Hawes said: “As key global markets continue to re-open and UK car plants gradually get back to business, these figures are a marked improvement on the previous three months, but the outlook remains deeply uncertain.
“With the sector now battling economic recession as well as a global pandemic, it has neither the time nor capacity to deal with the further shock of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
“The impact of tariffs on the sector and the hundreds of thousands of livelihoods it supports would be devastating, so we need negotiators on both sides to pull out all of the stops to ensure a comprehensive free trade deal is agreed and in place before the end of 2020.”
The latest figures from the SMMT show car manufacturing volumes in the UK had declined 20.8 per cent year-on-year in July with 85,696 units made as factories struggle to ramp up output and global demand recovers slowly.
Production for UK buyers was down 37.1 per cent, with 85,696 units leaving production lines, with exports showed a 16.8 per cent decline in the period, accounting for around 80 per cent of vehicles produced (72,262).
The result leaves the sector’s output 307,707 units down (37.9%) year-to-date after Covid-19 forced markets and plants to close.