Jun 26, 2018

BMW says Brexit customs costs would push up prices

BMW has told the BBC the cost of any new customs arrangements after Brexit would push up the price of its cars. He said BMW would be forced to invest in new customs systems by late summer if there was no clarity on the UK's trading relationship with the EU. He told the BBC's Economics Editor Kamal Ahmed that without clarity BMW would be forced in August or September to prepare for a hard Brexit and customs delays around a hard border. While the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said that investment in the UK's car industry had halved in the last year because of Brexit uncertainty, some companies such as Toyota have continued to invest in the UK. In a separate interview, Kōji Tsuruoka, Japanese Ambassador to the UK, told Kamal Ahmed that the UK still had a strong appeal for Japanese car companies. In May, BMW was part of a group of business leaders including the heads of BP, Nestle, and Vodafone, who told Theresa May at a Downing Street meeting that a trade deal with the EU must be "As frictionless as with a customs union". BMW employs 8,000 people in its UK manufacturing operation and another 14,000 in its retailer network.

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