Berlin: BMW AG has delayed work on the next version of a Mini model due to uncertainties over the UK’s trade relations with the European Union.
The German automaker has extended the lifespan of the platform that underpins the Mini hatch for cost reasons and because of Brexit, according to a spokesman. Reuters reported the decision earlier Friday.
On the eve of the UK leaving the EU, British automakers warned a free-trade agreement with the bloc is needed to rekindle investment and stem tumbling production. Output already dropped more than 14 per cent last year to 1.3 million cars, the lowest in a decade, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said. It’s expected to drop another 2.3 per cent to 1.27 million units in 2020.
The future of carmaking in the UK is at risk of unravelling if tariffs are imposed and supply chains are impacted by Brexit, the SMMT said. About 55 per cent of all cars made in Britain are exported to the EU, and they’re loaded with parts that often have traversed the border multiple times during the manufacturing process.