UK-EU negotiations for a post-Brexit trade deal resume for their seventh round in Brussels today (18 August). David Leggett, automotive analyst at data and analytics company GlobalData, stresses the importance of a trade deal to the UK’s automotive industry.
Car industry analysts have outlined the compound challenge facing the UK’s car sector following the publication of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ half-year figures. The stats show that the first half of 2020 yielded the lowest level of UK car manufacturing since the 1950s. Edwin Kemp, head of automotive strategy at KPMG, commented that the SMMT’s June 2020 new car manufacturing analysis is a harbinger for businesses’ likely descent into insolvency throughout the automotive supply chain. Peter Barnes, head of automotive at global legal business, DWF, added that the challenges facing the UK automotive industry add up to a perfect storm for the sector.
UK car manufacturing output declined -48.2 per cent in June, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders figures reveal. Only 56,594 units were produced in the month. The SMMT revealed that the 381,357 cars produced in the first half of 2020 represent the weakest six months of UK manufacturing since 1954. This is -42.8 per cent down on 2019’s first half, with more than 285,000 units fewer produced. 11,349 jobs have been lost across manufacturing and retail during the pandemic. The SMMT warns that the fear of Brexit tariffs could endanger more jobs without dedicated restart support. The society called for greater urgency in talks to secure an ambitious free trade agreement with the European Union. Its latest survey data shows nine in 10 firms are missing clarity of information to allow them to prepare for the end of the transition to the new ongoing relationship between the UK and EU.
Brexit will have significant adverse effects on a UK manufacturing sector highly integrated with the EU single market, and that disruption will have a sizeable negative impact on the wider UK economy, a new report by UK in a Changing Europe finds. Funded by the Economic and Social Science Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation, the Kings College London based initiative conducts independent research on UK-EU relations.
In widely reported remarks, Nissan COO Ashwani Gupta has reiterated the importance of UK-EU free trade to the future of its Sunderland manufacturing plant. The uncertainties connected with the Nissan Sunderland plant, in turn, serve as a reminder of the still-present Brexit risks.
A survey among of over 900 decision-makers within UK businesses has found that: 57 per cent of UK private sector organisations are considering expansion into new global markets in the near future as a result of COVID-19. The research, commissioned by One World Express, also found that 45 per cent of businesses say the pandemic has made them realise they are overly reliant on one market. At the same time, 44 per cent are looking to expand into markets outside of the Single Market due to Brexit.
The UK Department for International Trade has announced a new UK Global Tariff (UKGT). Announced on 19 May 2020, this replaces the EU’s Common External Tariff on 1 January 2021 at the end of the Brexit Transition Period. As it pertains to the tyre business, while there are various categories, the announcement basically means the new UKGT sees tyre duty reduced from 4.5% to 4.0%. Camel back rubber for use in retreading stays at 0%, while duties cushion industrial tyres are reduced to 2.0% from 2.5%.
Following the news that there will be a new EU tyre label in 2021, the Council of the European Union has announced that it will officially adopt its position relating to the new label on 25 February 2020. In short the new tyre label has been confirmed and will in time be extended to include retreads. At the same time, the rescaling of fuel efficiency and wet grip measures has been halted.
As the February 2020 issue of Tyres & Accessories goes to press, the United Kingdom is officially leaving the European Union after three years of intense dispute and debate. At the same time, 2019 wasn’t a great year for the automotive and tyre industries (see page 36 onwards for further details of what has transpired during the last 12 months). And with a no-deal scenario presenting the possibility of import tariffs on and parts, 2020 doesn’t look like it is going to be a whole bunch better. However, while the disappointing performance of the car and tyre markets is linked to Brexit, the issues are not one and the same.
CAM is introducing a new online payment gateway in April 2020 that will align with future trading conditions to be negotiated between the UK and its EU trading country partners in the months ahead. It will also meet the SCA (Strong Customer Authentication) Regulation, part of the EU Revised Directive on Payment Services, which came into force on 14 September 2019, aimed at reducing fraudulent crime associated with online debit and credit card payments.
Car production in the UK fell by 16.5 per cent year-on-year in November, with figures from the Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showing that 107,753 units were manufactured during the month. Output for home and overseas markets declined 26.6 per cent and 14.2 per cent respectively.
UK car manufacturing output fell -4.0 per cent in October, with 134,752 units rolling off production lines, 5,622 fewer than October 2018, new Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures show. British car production has now fallen in 16 of the last 17 months, with August the outlier. ‘No deal’ Brexit contingency shutdowns earlier in the year artificially boosted output that month.