A cliff-edge Brexit could be ‘semi-catastrophic’ for Aston Martin

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Aston Martin

  • Luxury car maker Aston Martin warned a committee of MPs they may have to temporarily stop production if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
  • Car manufacturers are concerned the current approval system via the Vehicle Certification Authority will no longer be valid.
  • The Society of Car Manufacturers and Traders warned the cost of cars in the UK in the event of a no-deal could increase by £1,500 per vehicle.

LONDON – Luxury British car maker Aston Martin warned it may have to temporarily stop production if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Cars manufactured in the UK currently receive “type approval” from the Vehicle Certification Authority, which authorizes new vehicles as well as sales in the EU. However, car manufacturers have raised concerns that this process could no longer be valid if no deal is agreed by March 2019.

That scenario would create “significant costs,” Mark Wilson, chief financial officer at Aston Martin, told a committee of MPs on Tuesday, according to an FT report.

“Not only in resourcing to another type approval… but also the semi-catastrophic effect of having to stop production because we only produce cars in the UK,” he said.

Speaking to a Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee, Wilson said Aston Martin would suffer huge costs if they were forced to stop production and seek regulatory approval elsewhere.

Car makers must stop production temporarily when applying for new certification, since they cannot hold approval from more than one authority simultaneously.

Almost 80% of the cars manufactured in the UK are exported, just under half of which go to the EU, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Around 70% of the cars sold in the UK are also imported from the EU.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said car prices in the UK could increase by around £1,500 per vehicle in the event of no deal.

“Given most of our cars sold here are imported… there might be a contraction in terms of consumer choice,” he said.