As the UK goes to the polls in the General Election, the motor industry is keenly awaiting the outcome of the vote.
Speaking to The Car Expert at the launch of the new Mazda CX-5, Mazda UK managing director Jeremy Thomson expressed the thoughts of many in the industry. He believes that the result of the General Election, and the Brexit negotiations to follow, could dramatically impact the future of the industry.
“Depending on the result we could see very different positions on personal taxation, which will affect consumption and the willingness of consumers to invest in new cars,” Thomson said.
“Other elements affecting the industry could be the new Government’s views of taxation on cars, on fuel, and what happens to interest rates based on the response of markets to the result. These are all things that drive consumer behaviour and attitudes to the affordability of cars and the cost of PCPs.”
The new Government’s stance on Brexit could have an even bigger impact, Thomson argues, and could dramatically change the attitude of the trading relationship between manufacturers and the UK, and for those that build cars in the UK, with Europe.
“Mazda is already subject to a 10 per cent trade tariff on everything we bring into the UK, it is inbuilt into our business model and we pay around £50m a year in trade tariffs. In some future world we might see a free trade agreement with Japan which would level the playing field with other manufacturers. Brexit could be a benefit to Mazda. Equally no Brexit agreement will fundamentally change the trading agreement manufacturers have with the UK.”