EU-UK trade deal: EU automobile manufacturers react

Brussels, 24 December 2020 – The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) welcomes the deal struck today between the European Union and the United Kingdom on their future trading relations. This agreement is a great relief for European automobile manufacturers, allowing the sector to avoid the catastrophic effect of a no-deal Brexit.

“There is no other industry that is more closely integrated than the European automotive industry, with complex supply chains stretching right across the region,” explained ACEA Director General Eric-Mark Huitema.

ACEA however notes that it cannot make a full assessment of the implications of the deal until all the technical details have been made public. Only at that stage will it be clear if the deal fully reflects the interests of EU auto manufacturers and their supply chains.

“The impact of a no-deal Brexit on the EU auto industry would have been simply devastating, so we are first and foremost extremely relieved that an agreement was reached before the transition period expired,” Huitema stated.

“Nonetheless, major challenges still lie ahead, as trade in goods will be heavily impacted by barriers to trade in the form of new customs procedures that will be introduced on 1 January 2021.”

Indeed, with approximately 30,000 parts used in the construction of a single car – and many more in the construction of commercial vehicles – the automotive industry relies heavily on smooth and just-in-time delivery.

Compared to today’s situation, the deal struck by negotiators introduces much more red tape and regulatory burden for the industry.

Every year, almost 3 million motor vehicles worth €54 billion are traded between the EU and the UK, and cross-Channel trade in automotive parts accounts for almost €14 billion.

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Notes for editors

About ACEA

  • ACEA represents the 16 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus manufacturers: BMW Group, CNH Industrial, DAF Trucks, Daimler, Ferrari, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, PSA Group, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, and Volvo Group.
  • More information about ACEA can be found on www.acea.be or www.twitter.com/ACEA_eu.
  • Contact: Cara McLaughlin, Communications Director, [email protected], +32 485 88 66 47.

About the EU automobile industry

  • 14.6 million Europeans work in the auto industry (directly and indirectly), accounting for 6.7% of all EU jobs.
  • 11.5% of EU manufacturing jobs – some 3.7 million – are in the automotive sector.
  • Motor vehicles account for €440.4 billion in taxes in major European markets.
  • The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of €74 billion for the EU.
  • The turnover generated by the auto industry represents over 7% of EU GDP.
  • Investing €60.9 billion in R&D annually, the automotive sector is Europe's largest private contributor to innovation, accounting for 29% of total EU spending.