EU Economics

GERMAN FEARS: Car giant BMW admits prospect of hard Brexit is ‘VERY uncomfortable’

GERMAN car giant BMW has admitted any post-Brexit trade tarrifs would have a massive impact on its business.

Angela MerkelGETTY

German chancellor Angela Merkel visits the BMW stand at the Frankfurt Motor Show

Bosses voiced their fears a a day after their counterparts at Toyota in Japan and PSA  in France both expressed concern at the UK’s planned departure from the European Union.

BMW’s head of purchasing Markus Duesmann described Brexit as a “very uncomfortable scenario”.

He said the company – world’s second-largest maker of luxury cars – fears the introdction of tariffs and other trade barriers being imposed on its cars and parts.

World Trade Organization duties on cars stands at about 10 per cent.


BMW bosses fear the impact of Brexit on their business

We’re extremely concerned that the Brexit talks have been so piecemeal and slow so far

Markus Duesmann

Munich-based BMW builds Mini-brand and Rolls-Royce models as well as vehicle components for the group at plants in England, and its exports from the UK total about £2.4bn.

Speaking at the Frankfirt Motor Show, Mr Duesmann said: “Anything beyond zero level of duty will possibly lead to us changing our value chain.

“We’re extremely concerned that the Brexit talks have been so piecemeal and slow so far.”


Post-Brexit trade tariffs could cost firms like BMW billions

He said even if Britain struck a trade deal which keeps duties at zero, there will still be a “significant” effect on trade from other customs rules.

He said: “We’re already revising the logistics channels for the UK, so that we’ll be able to manage the coming border, whichever duties will be in place in the end.

“We’re enabling our suppliers so they’ll be able to export to the U.K.

Earlier, Toyota executive vice president Didier Leroy said there was a “strong need” for clarity on the shape of Brexit and that there could eventually be a “big question mark about our future investment in the country”.

Bosses at PSA – owner Vauxhall, Opel, Peugeot and Citroen – said they were becoming impatient to get guidance on Brexit to make investment decisions.

CEO Carlos Tavares said Brexit was already preventing spending and by the end of the year the Paris-based company would pick two scenarios for the split on which it will base all future decisions.

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