Three quarters of UK automotive businesses fear a ‘no-deal’ Brexit will threaten their future viability, according to a new member survey announced by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
74.1% of companies with UK operations responding to the survey said that a ‘no-deal’ scenario would damage their business, with fewer than nine per cent foreseeing any positive impact. More than half said their operations have already suffered as a result of uncertainty about future trading arrangements. Almost a third said they had postponed or cancelled UK investment decisions because of Brexit, with one in five having already lost business as a direct consequence.
More than half of firms said contingency plans are being executed, with over one in 10 (12.4%) relocating UK operations overseas and the same proportion already reducing employee headcount. Many have also made alterations to logistics and shipping routes, investment in warehousing and stock and adjustments to production schedules.
SMMT members also outlined the further and long-term damage that a ‘no-deal’ Brexit would do to their businesses. Almost seven in 10 (68.5%) said their profitability would be negatively affected, with 53.9% concerned about their ability to secure new overseas business and a similar number worried about maintaining investment in their UK operations. A further half said a ‘no-deal’ scenario would undermine their ability to maintain their existing workforce.