SMMT chief: Brexit could ruin record-breaking year

According to the chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), a vote to leave the EU could jeopardise a record-breaking year for the new car market.

Mike Hawes, the SMMT boss, made his comments at the CDX event organised by CarDealer magazine at Silverstone. According to the latest predictions, the UK’s new car market would be “slightly up” in 2016 compared to previous years and was in a “reasonably stable” condition.

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However, Mr Hawes also added a cautionary note about what might happen if the population of the UK voted to leave Europe on 23 June 2016. He said: “[The predictions are] always at risk of being affected by social issues and political issues such as Brexit. Some people could be holding off buying new cars because of that. And if we leave the EU we don’t really know what will happen.”

Nevertheless, Mr Hawes remained confident that the new car market had shown “every reason to suggest that the growth we have seen so far will be sustained” and that the “economic indicators are strongly in our favour”.