Ford Motor Company would be far from the only casualty if the UK were to stop having a free-trade agreement with the European Union following its departure, but such a scenario would nonetheless be troublesome for the automaker. According to CNBC, data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders suggests that Brexit-related tariffs could add as much as £1,500 (almost $1,900 US) to the average cost of each imported vehicle in the UK.
That’s why Ford President and CEO Mark Fields told CNBC that continuing free trade with the EU must be a top priority for the UK as it negotiates its exit. “What’s really important to us is a stable trade environment between obviously the U.K. and the EU and that’s our big priority, because we want to continue to build a profitable business and also secure a stable future for our over-14,000 employees that we do have in the UK,” he said.
Fields went on to say that Ford is “monitoring the environment” to inform its future decisions, while “being very forward” with the UK and the EU about its wishes. Nissan reportedly found itself in the same boat following the Brexit referendum, uncertain as to whether it should continue investing in the UK given the current climate. The Japanese automaker’s concerns were apparently laid to rest after making a deal with the British government.
“I don’t know what was given to Nissan,” the Ford CEO told CNBC. “We want to contribute to economic development but what is a high priority for us is free trade between the EU and the UK.”