Automotive firms in the UK have spent over £735 million preparing for Brexit, with over £235m already having been invested this year.
That’s according to research from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which published its figures alongside a last-minute plea fo the Government to agree a zero-tariff, zero-quota trade agreement with the EU.
It says a no-deal scenario could cost the UK auto industry almost £50bn over the next five years.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of SMMT, commented that: “As the UK-EU FTA (free trade agreement) negotiations enter the endgame, now is the time for both sides to deliver on promises to safeguard the automotive industry.
“Securing a deal is absolutely critical but it cannot be any deal.
“To work for UK automotive, it must deliver for UK products and that means securing the right terms and conditions that allow our exports – now and in the future – to be zero-tariff and zero-quota trade.”
“A deal that failed to achieve this would be the equivalent to no deal at all, devastating jobs and slamming the brakes on the UK’s ambitions to be a world-leading manufacturer and market for electrified mobility and battery technologies.”
SMMT reports that 67% of companies across the auto sector are doing everything they can to prepare for new Brexit processes come January 1st next year, whilst seven in 10 have secured new identification numbers.