UK car industry says EU membership vital to its success

lib dem
lib dem

Yorkshire & Humber Liberal Democrat MEPs Edward McMillan-Scott and Rebecca Taylor have welcomed findings from a report published by SMMT, a body which represents the UK automotive industry, and KPMG.

According to the report, Europe is fundamental to the success of the British car manufacturing.

The report found that in total 92% of automotive companies surveyed said it was more beneficial to their business for the UK to stay in the EU.

The EU is important for British business and business in Yorkshire & Humber. In May 2013, BorgWarner, a global product leader in technologies to improve fuel economy, emissions and performance, announced a £15 million investment at its Bradford facility.

The report also points out that the fact that the EU is the car industry’s biggest export market, sets the global rulebook when it comes to standards for car manufacturing and plays a vital role in opening up new markets overseas in countries like India and China.

Business Secretary Vince Cable commented:

“Manufacturer after manufacturer – Nissan, Honda, BMW, Ford – have publicly asserted the advantages of EU membership and underscored the message that the car industry cannot operate in isolation. The UK is part of the European market and our companies source more of their parts from the rest of the EU than they do from within the UK itself.”

“The EU is a global standard setter for rules and regulations, covering all aspects of the industry from car emissions to safety. If we left, our companies would still have to conform to EU standards but would have no say in how they are drafted. There would be no British voice at the table fighting the corner for British interests.”

Edward McMillan-Scott commented:

“This report underlines just how important being in the EU is for the car industry in Yorkshire & Humber.

“Liberal Democrats are fighting to keep Britain in Europe because being in is vital for jobs, investment and our economic future.”

Rebecca Taylor said:

“We cannot let UKIP and Tory eurosceptics throw the economic recovery away by pulling Britain out of the world’s largest economy.

“Just last week Nigel Farage criticised the British car industry claiming that German cars were better made.

“Perhaps his dislike of the UK car industry is linked to the fact that this is a hugely successful sector employing 700,000 people and ruins his argument that “the EU is bad for business”.”

Notes to Editors

In his closing remarks to the report, John Leech UK Head of Automotive at KPMG comments:

“On balance, the position of the UK automotive industry is clear – continued EU membership is vital to this £60 billion industry and its long-term prosperity.”

The report states that:

“Over 70% of the total number of Nissan cars sold in Europe (excluding UK) came from the Sunderland plant(a). A similar proportion of production destined for the EU market can be seen at Honda, Toyota and Vauxhall.”

“Sales to emerging markets are growing. UK automotive exports to China, for example, have increased more than six fold between 2008 and 2013. This has led to some arguments that the UK government should focus on the emerging economies rather than the EU for future trading links. However, for volume manufacturers in the UK such as Honda, Nissan, Toyota, and Vauxhall, the majority of exports are to the rest of the EU. For premium manufacturers such as BMW Group and Jaguar Land Rover, approximately 40% of their vehicles are sold within the EU with the rest sold in non-EU markets (3)(4). The EU market, therefore, will remain key for UK automotive manufacturers.”