Specialist car brands like McLaren and Aston Martin voice concern over Brexit uncertainty

The sector that includes Aston Martin and McLaren has grown by 52 per cent in the last five years, but Brexit is a big worry

McLaren MSO R Coupe and Spider

The UK’s specialist vehicle manufacturing sector, which includes the likes of Aston Martin, McLaren, and Lotus, has warned that the recent success of the industry could be put to jeopardy were the Government to fail to reach a favourable Brexit deal in the future.

The UK is home to the world's largest specialist vehicle manufacturing sector with over 60 different brands grouped within it. A specialist vehicle provider is classified as one that builds less than 10,000 vehicles annually. New research by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows output in the sector has grown by 52 per cent since 2012 and currently employs over 11,250 people. 

According to SMMT research, the sector that includes manufacturers like Aston MartinMcLarenLotus and Rolls-Royce as well as Caterham, Morgan and Ariel is set to grow by a further 60 per cent to total 52,000 vehicle sales by 2020. But this will only happen if the right trade conditions are established by the UK Government before it leaves the European Union in 2019. 

UK car industry calls for special EU trade deal to avoid Brexit 'cliff edge' 

In particular, the sector wants to see globally harmonised product standards as many companies produce a handful of models that are built in the UK but sold globally. The SMMT is also calling for the Government to secure continued membership of the European Customs Union and free access to the single market.

Specialist vehicle manufacturers currently export 65 per cent of their vehicles abroad, with the EU, US, China, the Gulf States and Japan being key markets. The sector also imports roughly 30 per cent of its materials from the EU, meaning any trade tariffs or quotas would probably increase costs. 

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive said: "Our specialist car manufacturing sector is one of the UK’s global success stories – making world-leading products and pioneering next generation technologies that benefit everyone. For this to continue we need certainty on Britain’s future trading relationships, including customs plans, market access, regulations governing the design, production and approval of vehicles, and rules around movement of skilled workers. This will provide the assurance the sector needs to remain competitive and make investment decisions that enable it to continue to develop innovative, exciting and desirable products that are the envy of the world.”

Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer for McLaren Automotive said: “We believe, therefore, that it is important for the government to maintain a key role in influencing and promoting a fair regulatory framework for small and niche manufacturers wherever we export in the world in order to reduce unnecessary burden and ensure sufficient phase-in periods for any new legislation."

What do you think Brexit will mean for the UK's smaller car manufacturers? Let us know in the comments...

Recommended

VED road tax: how much does it cost?
car tax calculator
Consumer news

VED road tax: how much does it cost?

Confused by VED road tax? Our comprehensive guide explains how much you'll pay on your next car
2 Aug 2021
Cyclists and pedestrians prioritised in upcoming Highway Code revisions
News

Cyclists and pedestrians prioritised in upcoming Highway Code revisions

Latest Highway Code changes look to strengthen the priority of walkers and cyclists over motorists
30 Jul 2021
UK road pricing: UK plan to plug the fuel duty gap
Motorway
News

UK road pricing: UK plan to plug the fuel duty gap

The Government’s plan to plug the £30bn gap in lost fuel duty is taking shape with bans on petrol and diesel car and trucks looming
13 Jul 2021
Four million people in the UK have fallen asleep while driving
Tired driver
News

Four million people in the UK have fallen asleep while driving

Research produces worrying revelation that four million UK motorists have nodded off behind the wheel at some point
16 Jun 2021

Most Popular

New Dacia Duster facelift priced from £13,995
Dacia Duster facelift - front
Dacia Duster

New Dacia Duster facelift priced from £13,995

The Dacia Duster has been updated for 2021 with subtle design tweaks and a new eight-inch infotainment screen
2 Aug 2021
New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover
Volkswagen Taigo R-Line - front
Volkswagen Taigo

New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover

The new VW Taigo is a sportier, more aggressive looking version of the brand’s T-Cross and is aimed at lifestyle buyers
29 Jul 2021
'Formula E could be on course for victory in its battle with F1'
Formula E opinion
Opinion

'Formula E could be on course for victory in its battle with F1'

Mike Rutherford thinks there can only be one winner out of Formula One and Formula E
1 Aug 2021