Motor Manufacturing Jobs To Be Lost Say Industry Bosses

Tue 15th Oct 2019

The impact of a no-deal Brexit is already being felt at UK-based motor manufacturers according to a survey published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The SMMT shone a spotlight on the industry one year ago with the threat of a ‘hard Brexit’ in the balance, however, with Boris Johnson’s government threatening to pull the UK out of Europe at the end of the month, UK automotive companies are already cutting jobs.

The survey says that the threat of a no-deal Brexit has had a negative impact on 77 per cent of the UK industry. That impact includes 12 per cent of companies divesting UK operations and 13 per cent relocating overseas.

But the most worrying aspect of the SMMT report is that one in three companies have cut jobs before Brexit has even come into place. The UK industry has seen job losses at plants at Honda, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Vauxhall, while Nissan have done a u-turn on commitments to build the X-Trail at their Sunderland plant.

“Damage has already been done: investment is haemorrhaging competitiveness being undermined, UK jobs cut and vast sums wasted on the impossibility of preparing for no deal,” said SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes.

“Make no mistake, every day no deal remains a possibility is another day of lost investment, another day that makes it harder to recover investor confidence in the UK.”

While a no-deal Brexit is by no means a guarantee, Hawes suggests that the negative impact of the last two years of uncertainty could only be reversed by a negotiated deal.

He said:  “A deal that, in the short term, enables a "business as usual" transition for as long as it takes to negotiate and implement the future trading relationship.

“In the longer term, that deal must replicate all of the benefits we currently enjoy which means an ambitious deal that delivers free and frictionless trade. 

“UK jobs, innovation, trading strength and economic growth all depend on the automotive sector so we urge all parties to get a good deal done before it is too late.”