Brexit: Glass’s and SMMT react to historic vote

Time 9:47 am, June 24, 2016

THE automotive industry will be negatively affected by the result of last night’s EU referendum, according to Rupert Pontin, director of valuations at Glass’s.

In the wake of the UK’s historic vote to leave the EU, announced early this morning, Pontin said: ‘This is an interesting result that sees the UK very much embark on a new chapter that is largely unwritten.

Rupert Pontin

Rupert Pontin

‘If the Brexit voters are correct in their thinking, it could create greater prosperity for the country in the long term but, over the next few months and years, the road is likely to be very bumpy.

‘Markets will be affected, as will the value of the pound, and we expect to see consumer confidence tail off until the view of the way forward becomes clearer. How long this will take is difficult to predict.

‘For the motor industry, all of these developments are very likely to have negative effects including a period of instability for new and used car sales, as well as an increase in pre-reg activity and downward pressure on values.

‘There is also likely to be further political instability as a result of the referendum outcome, both at home with the ruling government and across Europe as the EU comes to terms with the decision, which will create further uncertainty.

‘Whatever the outcome in the longer term, there are plenty of challenges now facing the motor industry and the UK as a whole.’

Mike Hawes

Mike Hawes

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, added: ‘The British public has chosen a new future out of Europe. Government must now maintain economic stability and secure a deal with the EU which safeguards UK automotive interests.

‘This includes securing tariff-free access to European and other global markets, ensuring we can recruit talent from the EU and the rest of the world and making the UK the most competitive place in Europe for automotive investment.’

Malcolm Miller, managing director of Chippenham-based automotive learning and development agency RTS Group, said: ‘The Brexit vote, far from resolving economic concerns will, we believe, create further economic challenges. Automotive dealers will have to continue working hard to overcome their customers’ concerns over committing to a new car and manufacturers will have to work hard to support them in the short term.

‘But of course there is an opportunity to think beyond European shores and auto retailing in the UK is seen by many as a benchmark for best practice across the globe.

‘We see growth in the Far East, China and India as the new economic powerhouses of the world and are helping dealers and manufacturers there improve their operations.’

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Dave Brown's avatar

Dave, production editor on Car Dealer Magazine, is a journalist with more than 30 years' experience in the worlds of newspapers, magazines and public relations.

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