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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 February 2019

UK car industry hits Brexit 'red alert'

Latest car industry figures show investment and output has plunged for UK motors

FILE PHOTO: A worker looks inside a vehicle destined for China at the Jaguar Land Rover facility in Solihull, Britain, January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Staples/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A worker looks inside a vehicle destined for China at the Jaguar Land Rover facility in Solihull, Britain, January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Staples/File Photo

Britain’s car manufacturing sector is on “red alert” with Brexit the cause of “enormous damage” to jobs and investment.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the UK’s industry trade body, investment in the car industry plunged by almost half, from £1.1 billion to £588.6 million in 2018.

UK production for its domestic market and exports to international markets fell by 16.3 percent and 7.3 percent.

Car industry chief Mike Hawes warned that the impact of Brexit on investment and output “is nothing compared with the permanent devastation caused by severing our frictionless trade links overnight, not just with the EU but with the many other global markets with which we currently trade freely”.

“With fewer than 60 days before we leave the EU and the risk of crashing out without a deal looking increasingly real, UK Automotive is on red alert," he said.

Mr Hawes urged British politicians to avoid a no-deal scenario in March, when the UK is poised to leave the EU.

In 2015, car manufacturers invested £2.5 billion in the UK. Since then it has fallen ever year and in 2018 was just £589 million.

The SMMT says Brexit is the “most significant threat to the competitiveness of the UK automotive sector in a generation”.

Updated: January 31, 2019 02:34 PM

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