UK car manufacturers have called for smooth links ‘closer to home’ following the UK government agreeing a free trade deal with Australia yesterday (Jun 15).
A Downing Street statement claimed the agreement with Australia means UK car makers will see ‘tariffs of up to five per cent cut, boosting demand for their exports’.
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures show the UK sold 20,000 cars to Australia in 2019, compared with 578,000 to the EU.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: ‘Australia is an important growth market and the industry welcomes the agreement in principle of a trade deal between the two countries.
‘If tariffs can be avoided, making UK manufacturers more competitive against international rivals, there is some potential to increase our vehicle exports and we look forward to seeing the finer details of the deal, to ensure the agreement delivers for the automotive sector.
‘Given the integrated nature of the automotive industry, however, and the importance of proximity, we must also ensure smooth trade with markets closer to home.’
SMMT data shows four out of every five cars made in the UK are exported.