SMMT – Brexit could kill off growth in CV making

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has warned that tariff barriers could damage the UK commercial vehicle (CV) industry.

This comes as the SMMT showed figures that exports of UK built vans, buses and trucks rose by 11.6% in the first half of 2017.

The EU was the main market for the increase in CV exports according to the SMMT. 95% of exports are headed there, and demand in the EU increased by 13.8% due to growth following the recession. Every van built in the UK that was exported headed to EU fleets, while 62.9% of trucks built in H1 of 2017 headed to the EU as well.

Across the sector, exports account for almost two-thirds (63.5 per cent) of the commercial vehicles built in Britain.

Referring to Brexit, the SMMT has warned that any changes to tariff and non-tariff barriers or regulatory and labour issues would have a detrimental effect on the competitiveness of the manufacturing industry.

SMMT chief Mike Hawes said: “The British and European vehicle manufacturing industries are highly integrated, and a beneficial relationship will take time to negotiate. This is why we need government to seek an interim arrangement that will maintain our place within the single market and customs union until this can be achieved.”

Israel topped the list of largest markets outside of the EU, taking 1.2 per cent of all exports, followed by Australia (1.1 per cent), Hong Kong and Taiwan (both 0.6 per cent), and New Zealand (0.4 per cent).

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