Boris Johnson’s hefty majority may have changed the game in parliament, but manufacturers could be forgiven for withholding their judgment. Nothing has changed, to coin a phrase: a hard-Brexit threat still looms over any company that exports to the EU or beyond. Carmakers are at the forefront of the continuing uncertainty amid an investment freeze and a slump in manufacturing – even as the race towards electric power heats up. Car manufacturing at British factories has fallen by 14% to 1.12 million vehicles in the year to October compared with the same period last year. The November update on car production, due on Friday, is not expected to offer any signs of respite. As well as a general downward trend over recent months, output could be further dented by short production pauses from Jaguar Land Rover, Toyota and BMW in preparation for a no-deal Brexit deadline that was delayed for a second time in October. Mike Hawes, the chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), welcomed the new government with a request that it “restore business and economic confidence and re-establish the UK’s reputation as a great place to invest”. The other side of that otherwise… Read full this story
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