UK investment in car industry has halved due to Brexit uncertainty with sector facing “extinction”

The UK motor industry has seen investment half in the first half of this year, according to the latest research from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

During the first six months of this year, the SMMT found that investment has “stalled”, with just £347.3m earmarked for new models, equipment and facilities in the UK, around half the sum in the same period in 2017.

The group’s demand for action followed the comments last week from CBI president, Paul Dreschler, who warned that the UK industry faces “extinction” if Britain eaves the EU customs union.

The car industry is one of the leading employers in the country, responsible for 856,000 jobs.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “There is growing frustration in global boardrooms at the slow pace of negotiations. The current position, with conflicting messages and red lines goes directly against the interests of the UK automotive sector which has thrived on single market and customs union membership.

“There is no Brexit dividend for our industry, particularly in what is an increasingly hostile and protectionist global trading environment,” he added.

“Our message to government is that until it can demonstrate exactly how a new model for customs and trade with the EU can replicate the benefits we currently enjoy, don’t change it.”

Jobs linked to foreign investment drop 54% amid Brexit headwinds

CETA “makes a mockery of Government’s stated objective of ‘bringing back control’.”

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