January 11, 2018 / 10:16 AM / 7 months ago

German car suppliers could lose thousands of jobs over hard Brexit - study

BERLIN (Reuters) - A so-called “hard Brexit” involving tariffs and a lasting devaluation of the pound could cause thousands of job losses at German automotive suppliers, a study by accounting firm Deloitte showed.

FILE PHOTO: Worker moves a new Audi R8 car body in the automotive welding and assembly lines hall of the German car manufacturer's plant in Neckarsulm July 3, 2013. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

An arrangement where Britain gives up full access to the single market and customs union could threaten as many as 14,000 jobs at automotive suppliers in Germany and shrink their sales by 3.8 billion euros (£3.36 billion), the study published on Thursday found. Britain will leave the European Union in 2019.

Germany is the largest exporter of car parts to the UK, with companies such as Continental (CONG.DE) and Robert Bosch providing nearly a fifth of all components used in UK-based car production.

Some 42,500 jobs in Germany depend on suppliers’ ties with Britain and German parts makers generated 16.9 billion euros in sales in 2016 from UK car production, a study by global accounting firm Deloitte published on Thursday showed.

“Trade barriers emerging in the course of Brexit such as tariffs or regulation would considerably harm supply chains and raise the costs for suppliers,” Thomas Schiller, head of automotive at Deloitte, said.

Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Catherine Evans

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