The latest temporary closure of Honda’s Swindon plant because of parts shortages could be the “tip of the iceberg” for new car supply issues in 2021, the Vehicle Remarketing Association is warning. Chair Philip Nothard said that the problem, believed to be caused by poor availability of semiconductors, was potentially a sign of things to come from all manufacturers.
Just before Christmas, the UK Government and the EU announced that they had thrashed out a no-tariff trade deal. Negotiations went down to the wire, but, a mere four and a half years after the UK voting to leave the EU, agreement was approved by both sides.
Back in April, Tyres & Accessories spoke to leading supplier of freight forwarding services to the UK tyre sector, Maritime Cargo Services about the perfect storm of circumstances complicating life for tyre importers. Then it was difficult to anticipate the logistical problems the industry would face by the end of the first quarter – at least far enough ahead to sidestep the issues entirely. Even armed with the expectation of disruption, the pressure has built at British ports throughout the year, especially in the last quarter as Covid began to spike again. As a result, Honda UK’s suspension of production became a high-profile symptom of the catalogue of issues causing bottlenecking and ultimately delays in the supply chain. With the end of the Brexit transition coming amidst the second spike of Covid-19 transmissions on 31 December, T&A asked MCS again about what difficulties distribution businesses need to plan for this winter.
BM Catalysts, Europe’s largest independent manufacturer of high-quality aftermarket catalytic converters, DPFs and front pipes, has launched a Brexit resource via its website https://www.bmcatalysts.co.uk/brexit/ providing practical help, relevant information, and useful resources to help and reassure customers.
After weeks and months of mounting pressure on UK ports, the automotive industry is showing visible signs of strain. Specifically, Honda UK has halted manufacturing at its Swindon factory because it can’t get the right parts in-time to continue production. General UK tyre supply is likely to be impacted too.
According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), UK car manufacturing output fell 18.2 per cent in October. 110,179 units left UK factories during the month, 24,490 fewer cars than were made in October 2019, with the impact of coronavirus and fresh lockdowns at home and overseas subduing demand in many key markets.
Over the past weeks, the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) has written to HMRC and a number of MPs to highlight that under post-Brexit EU VAT rules, the sale price of a significant proportion of used vehicles in Northern Ireland (NI) will be subject to a 20 per cent increase for stock purchased in Great Britain (GB). NFDA has urged HMRC to resolve the issue before the end of the year to avoid a major impact on NI and GB vehicle dealers as well as consumers.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has again urged both sides to re-engage the Brexit negotiation process with vigour in order to achieve a satisfactory deal. Bringing its latest calculations to the table, the industry association stresses that ‘no deal’ is a high stake gamble not only for the automotive sector but also for hopes of a green recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
The impact of the coronavirus crisis and potential effects of Brexit are making planning beyond the short term almost impossible in the remarketing sector, reports the Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA). The association says the currently booming market is arguably obscuring the potential dangers that lie ahead. Chair Sam Watkins said: “As has been widely reported, the sector is very, very busy and we are seeing highly unusual trends such as car and van values continuing to rise through the Autumn when they would normally be written down.”
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.