The Brexit Jigsaw

Brexit impact on car sales is predicted for 2018

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Slowdown in car sales growth to be at 1% in 2018

On Wednesday, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) announced a prediction for a slowdown in growth for European car sales. In a press conference, it was announced that predictions for car growth in 2018 would drop to as low as 1%.

In 2017, car registrations grew by 3.4% making a fourth consecutive year of growth. However, a combination of an uncertain future market due to Britain’s departure from Europe, and new EU regulations on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions mean that car sales are expected to slow down across the continent.

ACEA President Carlos Tavares said in a press conference,  “The European automobile industry is on a pathway to recovery, coming close to pre-crisis levels after 10 years, but in light of major regulations ahead of us, as well as the threat of Brexit this recovery is very fragile.”

He went on to say that the European Commission’s proposals to promote low-emissions vehicles did “not sufficiently consider other alternatives” to electric cars. Furthermore, Europe needed to invest in infrastructure, notably charging stations, to support electric vehicles.

Negotiations need to be swift…

Brexit negotiators were urged to come to a swift arrangement on the new terms of Britain’s trading relationship with Europe.

He stated “Today the automotive industry of the EU and the UK are deeply integrated. Changes for this level of integration will most likely have an adverse impact on manufacturers.”

Those problems could include the restriction of access to both sides of the market and delays in cross-channel parts delivery with the trickling down of new regulations and paperwork causing delays of containers at ports. This could have the potential to seriously hamper the motor trade in Britain and delay servicing and repairs due to lack of in-stock parts.

Tavares also said that the auto industry believed the transition period after Britain leaves the EU should be three years, longer than the 21 months until the end of 2020 that the EU has proposed.

“It is a struggle for our industry to make investment decisions when we don’t know what is just around the corner,” he said. “What we know today is everyone is holding on.”

ACEA forecasts that German and French car sales growth will be muted and that the British car market will decline by 4-5 percent, following a 5.7 percent fall in 2017.

In the motor trade, markets can be uncertain and Brexit is a very real issue which will have an impact on all types of motor traders.
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original article from Reuters

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