Stellantis, one of the world’s leading automakers, has raised concerns over the future of the UK’s car industry following Brexit. The company, which comprises popular brands like Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroen, and Fiat, has stated that the UK needs to reconsider certain aspects of its Brexit deal or face the risk of losing vital parts of its automotive sector. This urgent call to action has been prompted by Stellantis’ inability to comply with the trade rules governing the sourcing of car parts, as stipulated in the post-Brexit agreement. In this article, we delve into the details of Stellantis’ concerns and the potential consequences it highlights for the automotive landscape.
Stellantis Highlights Implications of Brexit Trade Rules:
Stellantis’ commitment to producing electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK has encountered a significant obstacle due to the existing Brexit trade rules. These regulations specify the origin of parts for EVs, posing a challenge for the automaker. Stellantis contends that it can no longer adhere to these trade rules, necessitating a renegotiation to ensure the viability of the UK’s car industry.
Urgent Appeal for UK-EU Agreement on Current Rules:
To prevent the disruption of trade between the UK and the European Union (EU), Stellantis implores the British government to seek an agreement with the EU that would extend the application of the current rules until 2027. Failing to reach such an agreement would subject trade between the two entities to a significant 10% tariff. Stellantis emphasizes that its investments in the UK were predicated on the stringent terms of the post-Brexit free trade deal and calls for the preservation of these conditions.
Trade Deal Requirements and Potential Manufacturing Relocation:
Under the current trade deal, starting in 2024, EVs must have 45% of their value originating from the EU or the UK to qualify for tariff-free trade. Stellantis’ submission highlights concerns over the competitiveness of EV costs, suggesting that manufacturers may cease investing and opt to relocate their operations outside the UK. This apprehension raises questions about the future growth and sustainability of the UK’s automotive sector.
Stellantis CEO Warns of Industry Challenges:
Carlos Tavares, Chief Executive of Stellantis, had previously warned that the UK’s car industry would face significant difficulties without access to domestically manufactured batteries. Tavares’ comments highlight the interdependence of various components within the automotive supply chain and the potential ramifications of disruptions in battery production for the industry as a whole.
Stellantis’ call for a renegotiation of certain aspects of the Brexit deal serves as a critical wake-up call for the UK’s car industry. With the inability to comply with existing trade rules on the sourcing of car parts, Stellantis raises concerns over the viability of their investments and the potential relocation of manufacturing operations. The urgency of this situation necessitates swift action by the British government to secure an agreement with the EU, ensuring the continued growth and competitiveness of the UK’s automotive sector. Failure to do so could have far-reaching consequences, not only for Stellantis but for the entire industry and the thousands of jobs it supports. As the future of the UK’s car industry hangs in the balance, stakeholders must come together to find a solution that safeguards its long-term success.