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汽车行业恳请英国敲定脱欧协议

Phil Boucher 2019年04月11日

如果无协议脱欧,英国就得遵循世界贸易组织规定,那就意味着所有跨越英国-欧盟边界的汽车贸易都要缴纳10%的关税。

英国汽车生产商与经销商协会(SMMT)呼吁从速消除英国脱欧引发的“政治和经济不确定性”,原因是最新迹象表明经济顾虑让英国人突然停止购买汽车。

该协会的数据显示,今年3月新车牌登记数量减少3.4%,创六年新低,而且私人和企业购车水平双双下滑。

作为全球第五大经济体,英国距离无协议脱欧只剩下短短数天时间,除非英国议会通过首相特蕾莎·梅的脱欧计划,或者欧盟同意将最终期限从4月12日向后推迟。如果无协议脱欧,英国就得遵循世界贸易组织(WTO)规定,那就意味着所有跨越英国-欧盟边界的汽车贸易都要缴纳10%的关税。

英国国家特许经销商协会(NFDA)的主任苏·罗宾森表示:“任何引发关税或边界摩擦的因素都可能成为我们的重大业务障碍。我们已经非常清楚地指出,这可能给我们带来每年高达10亿美元的成本。”

3月的汽车需求被视为英国汽车行业的关键指标,因为这个月是每年更换车牌的时段。以前这个因素往往会促使买家购车,以便可以拥有最新的车牌号码。

SMMT数据表明3月的私家车需求下降2.8%,商用车销售则大跌41.4%。几乎所有车型都出现了滑坡,包括受欢迎的SUV(降1.8%)和小型家用车(降4%)。

SMMT的首席执行官麦克·霍斯说:“3月是新车市场的关键晴雨表,所以说这次下跌显然让人担心。虽然汽车厂商仍在投资于令人兴奋的车型和尖端技术,但要让英国从这些进展中充分受益,我们就需要一个充满活力的市场,以鼓励人们采用新技术。”

他还说:“我们急需结束政治和经济不确定的局面,途径是彻底消除‘无协议’脱欧的威胁并商定今后的关系,以避免所有可能提升成本,进而推高价格的额外摩擦。”

据SMMT介绍,逆势上行的只有小型迷你车和厢式客货两用车,其销量分别上升了4.3%和10.6%。在英国,大多数厢式客货两用车都使用柴油,而目前每升柴油的零售价比汽油高10便士,这就让此类车型的销量增长更显得出人意料。柴油车销量则大跌21%,而且已经是连续第24个月下滑。

今年第一季度,英国新车销量为701306辆,比上年同期下降2.4%。

汽车经销商AA Cars的首席执行官詹姆斯·费尔克拉夫说:“一个很明显的情况是国会的不确定性依然决定着全国消费者信心的基调。由于今后几周的前景非常不明朗,购物者显然对大宗消费持谨慎态度。”

3月销售数据是英国汽车行业遭遇的最新负面消息。2018年,英国新车销售出现了2008年金融危机以来的最大跌幅,比上年减少6.8%。

英国汽车行业有超过85万名就业者,它遭受的另一打击是日本汽车三巨头——日产、本田和丰田最近决定压缩英国生产规模,其中一部分原因是英国脱欧,另一部分原因是欧盟和日本近期签署的贸易协议让日本公司能够直接以零关税向欧洲出口汽车。

上周三,福特欧洲董事长史蒂文·阿姆斯特朗在接受美联社采访时称,福特汽车可能也“得认真考虑无协议脱欧背景下该公司在英国投资的长期前景”。他还说:“无协议脱欧对英国汽车行业来说将是一场灾难,在这个行业里,我重视的当然是福特汽车公司。”(财富中文网)

译者:Charlie

审校:夏林

The trade association for the U.K. auto industry has called for an urgent end “to the political and economic uncertainty” caused by Brexit, following the latest signs that Britons are sharply pulling back on buying cars due to economic jitters.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that new car registrations slumped by 3.4% in March to their lowest level in six years, with the drop felt in both the private and business sectors.

Britain, the world’s fifth largest economy, will crash out of the EU in just over eight days unless Parliament passes Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement, or the European Union agrees to extend the existing April 12 deadline. Should a no-deal Brexit happen, then Britain would have to operate under WTO rules, meaning all cars would incur 10% tariffs the moment they cross the U.K.-EU border.

“Anything that puts tariffs or friction at the borders in place would be a significant inhibitor to our business,” said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA). “We’ve been very clear in saying that could cost us up to a billion dollars a year.”

Car demand across March is considered to be a key bellwether for the U.K. auto industry, as it coincides with the yearly change in license plates. Traditionally, this has driven buyers into showrooms for the prestige of owning the very latest registration number.

SMMT figures show that demand for private vehicles fell by 2.8% during the month, while business sales nosedived by 41.4%. Declines were also registered across almost every vehicle segment, including popular SUVs (-1.8%) and small family cars (-4.0%).

“March is a key barometer for the new car market, so this fall is of clear concern,” said Mike Hawes, chief executive of SMMT. “While manufacturers continue to invest in exciting models and cutting-edge tech, for the U.K. to reap the full benefits of these advances, we need a strong market that encourages the adoption of new technology.”

He continued, “We urgently need an end to the political and economic uncertainty by removing permanently the threat of a ‘no deal’ Brexit and agreeing a future relationship that avoids any additional friction that would increase costs and hence prices.”

According to the SMMT, only superminis and vans bucked the negative trend, registering 4.3% and 10.6% increases respectively—a development made more surprising by the fact that most British vans run on diesel, which is currently 10p per-liter more expensive than gasoline at the fuel pumps. However, diesel car sales sank by a dramatic 21%—the 24th straight monthly decline.

In the first quarter overall, new car sales were down 2.4% compared with the same period last year, at 701,306.

“The stark truth is that the uncertainty in Westminster continues to set the tone for consumer confidence across the country,” said James Fairclough, chief executive of car dealership AA Cars. “With little clarity on what’s happening over the next couple of weeks, buyers are being decidedly cautious in paying for big-ticket items.”

The March sales figures are the latest bad news for the U.K. car industry. In 2018, new car sales fell at their fastest rate since the global financial crisis a decade ago, with car purchases down 6.8% on the previous year.

The auto sector, which employs over 850,000 workers, has also been hit by the recent decisions of Japanese car giants Nissan, Honda and Toyota to scale back production in the U.K., partly as a result of Brexit but also because the recent EU/Japan trade deal enables Japanese firms to export cars directly into Europe tariff-free.

On last Wednesday, Ford Europe Chairman Steven Armstrong told the Associated Press that the automaker would also “have to consider seriously the long-term future of our investments in the country” in the event of a no-deal Brexit, adding that “a no-deal Brexit, would be a disaster for the automotive industry in the U.K. and within that, of course, I count Ford Motor Company.”

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