More car industry investment – thanks to Brexit?

Nissan, Toyota and Vauxhall have all now announced important investments in the UK post the referendum. We were told the opposite would happen by Remain. During our tine in the EU Ford pulled out of making vehicles here and BL collapsed completely.

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92 Comments

  1. duncan
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    It is my belief that the investment plans of these companies have been signed off following reassurances from HMG that the UK’s departure from the EU will be in name only. This is a more probable explanation as to why these companies have decided to go ahead with their plans to double down on their capital investment plans in UK plant

    This PM is a Europhile. She’s also a politician without principle so I assess all that is happening with a huge degree of scepticism.

    As you get older and I am now 49 years of age, you begin to view the world in a more, shall we say, critical fashion. Rather than accepting the world as it is, you begin to ask why the world is what it is. Such an approach allows you to differentiate between the truth and the perception of truth created for us and delivered to us by the State and its agents, as it were (BBC, govt, civil service)

    My father taught me to question everything. It can be exhausting to have to question all and everything but it prevents you from becoming a victim of subtle manipulation by a ever more pernicious, interventionist state that cannot stop its dictating to us all

    The British people were blind-sided by a charlatan in 1997. The same is about to happen with this PM and if she doesn’t succeed then we have an even greater horror to come namely Marxist Labour (as opposed to the decent political party that Labour once was under Attlee)

    • Chris
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      I agree, Duncan. I feel that we have been duped (if ever we believed her) by this PM, and I also believe that Brexiter MPs could have acted emphatically, if they truly believed in effecting the Brexit that we voted for, but that they were not prepared to do so. To me, this is a most ghastly episode in our history, and the Conservatives will not get my vote again. What do they care, however? This apparent dismissal of democracy, which is currently happening, and which is being accepted by Brexiter MPs, is a disgrace in my view and will have the most profound consequences for the future of the UK. Conservative MPs should hang their heads in shame.

      • Chris
        Posted April 5, 2018 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

        Clarification regarding above post, “…in our recent history”.

  2. hans chr iversen
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    John,

    When, you write short notes on a particular industry and all relate it to the EU, it gets rather distorted.

    Let us not forget that the reason why, BL no longer exists was because the quality of their cars was simply not up to scratch, compared with the Japanese and European competition, it had very little to do with the EU.

    I seem to recall my father’s Austin was at the Garage 13 times in two ears.

    • Lifelogic.
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      And with Corbyn and Mc Donnall we will probably go back to the days of failing, nationalised basketcase industries and over powerful unions ripping off the public with even more dire public services than now.

      May seems to be doing her best to bring this about and thus return to a Venezuela economy. Hammond has the highest taxes for 40 years and is still borrowing hand over fist for more endless government waste.

    • bigneil
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Part of the “quality” problem with BL was sabotage. My brother used to do car repairs back then, before the current “chop the roof off so we can have a good claim on the insurance” attitude took hold. One he did had been rolled and was a complete re-shell of the car. The old shell/chassis was chopped up and he got many many coins out of the chassis members, which could only have been put in when it was being welded and manufactured new. Every bump when driving would have caused a rattling which was impossible to find under normal conditions.

    • Little Englander
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Hans Christian: in the year after the Nissan plant in the North East came on stream the then CEO of Nissan UK said that vehicles coming off line from that plant was of a higher build quality than that produced in Japan and he praised the work force there for their skill, initiative and industry as the vehicles came rolling off to target. Japan subsequently stepped up a gear. I’m not going to look it up for you – do the homework yourself.

      • hans chr iversen
        Posted April 5, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        we were talking about BL quality not the quality of the British work-force, the cars were just not good enough or they were sabotaged

        • libertarian
          Posted April 6, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

          hans

          During the late 70’s and early 80’s whilst BL were at their “height” I owned first a Fiat and then a Datsun. Both cars badly rusted out. I think build quality amongst all car manufacturers was pretty rubbish at the time

    • Hope
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      JR, unfortunately we have Vauxhall claiming that the govt assured them of regulatory alignment. Is this correct? has May told the car companies we are leaving in name only and effectively remaining in?

      Why is the UK Govt paying billions for the EU/Turkey asylum agreement? Why is the Govt paying the EDF £3.75 billion, when will this stop?

      Moreover, why is May giving away UK freedoms of an independent sovereign nation, laws, borders, waters and fishing stock and money of an independent nation before we have even enjoyed the benefits from leaving! May has accepted and used the punishment extension and her false narrative about trade to keep the UK tied in to the EU. Why do you leavers not see this and do something about it?

      The UK might not be in Schengen but this does not matter because as these people become EU citizens the UK is forced to accept them and give them the same rights and benefits as UK citizens who are paying for the mass immigration policy of Germany!

    • John Finn
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      You are slightly missing the point. Being part of the EU never stopped the closures of UK car factories even if the quality of the manufactured product was high.

      Peugeot closed their Coventry plant in 2006. I still own a 2003 Peugeot 206 which was built in Coventry. The only time I take it to a garage is, once a year, for its annual MOT. My only regret is that I bought a 3-door rather than a 5-door. I hadn’t factored in the arrival of grandchildren which means I do sometimes use my wife’s newer car but the Peugeot still runs well and is rust-free.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Hans

      Well stated. Quality brings in the business not political whims!

    • jerry
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      @hans chr iversen; “Let us not forget that the reason why, BL no longer exists was because the quality of their cars was simply not up to scratch, compared with the Japanese and European competition”

      What a load of tabloid nonsense! As anyone who had to work on 1970s and 80s era Japanese and European cars, they were still mechanically unreliable [1] and rotted out like British cars used to in the 1950s and 60s, in fact some European cars rotted out far worse. What is more both European and Japanese cars often ended up costing the Mr Average consumer more, if they kept or bought their cars outside of the warranty period, because spare parts tended to be more expensive or jobs took longer. l’ll give the Japanese some credit though in that they (often) included a lot of otherwise options as standard.

      The reason BL is not around today is because it lacked long term support from Govt, unlike with the out European competitors, indeed VW group is still partially owned by the State of Lower Saxony (20% holding).

      [1] unless we are talking about top-end manufactures

      • getahead
        Posted April 5, 2018 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        I thought it was because BL workers were always on strike. Then there was the Allegro with its square steering wheel. Never really caught on.

        • jerry
          Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:11 am | Permalink

          @getahead; Check your facts, BL was not “always on strike”, any more than other UK car factory or many a European, and funny you mention square steering wheels, scientifically advanced as they were, it was ignorant motoring hacks that slagged it off, did you ever drive an Allegro fitted with one? Also even if you are correct, and I hold no candle for the Allegro (worse than the model it replaced), that Allegro came out when BL was still a private company – BLMC…

          BLMC’s down fall was caused by bad decisions from the management/accountants, not R&D failings or even trade union militancy, as anyone who knows the true story behind the development of what became the Maxi understands. As envisaged by R&D that car should have been the world-wide game changer back in the late 1960s, well before the five-door revolution of the 1970s, but due to the interference by the BLMC accounts department the only competition BLMC’s new car faced was its own stable mate built on the same production line, the Austin/Morris 1800 range!

      • hans chr iversen
        Posted April 5, 2018 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        the quality of BL cars was not up to scratch, my family went through too many not to notice the lack of quality and reliability, government support would have made absolutely no difference to BL, it would still have gone down

        • jerry
          Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:07 am | Permalink

          @hans chr iversen; (words left out ed)

          How many years of motor industry experience do you actually have to make any real judgement. I’ve had crap constituency MP’s through out my life, bar one, does that make all MPs, all politics crap too, its the same knee-jerk comment based on a very limited experience?

          It makes for nice tabloid headlines to slag off the ‘state owned’ BL but the facts are some what different, build quality of some non UK cars were dire, just as unreliable mechanically, whilst many rusted far worse, especially any built in southern Europe.

          • hans chr iversen
            Posted April 8, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

            considering we went through four BL cars over 78years I think my judgement is sufficiently valid, but thank you for your input

  3. jerry
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    As usual, politicians try to highlight the ups, ignore the lows…

    Whilst it is good news that investment has been secured the picture for the UK vehicle market place is not so rosy (year-on-year sales are down 5.7%), and as our domestic new car sales figures are traditionally seen as a barometer for the health of the wider economy…

    • Edward2
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      March this year compared to March 3017 is a little unfaor the figures are distorted by last year’s car taxation increases which came in April 2017.
      March last year saw a near record high level of sales as a result

      The key figure is a big reduction in diesel car sales after the EU and our Govt did a u turn on them.

      Reply Car sales rose strongly for the nine months after the vote

      • Edward2
        Posted April 5, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        Please excuse my typing
        On my phone, on a train, in the sunshine.

      • jerry
        Posted April 5, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        @Edward2; I was comparing/using the year on year figure, not the monthly like-for-like figure – indeed it would be unfair to compare March 2017 with either March 2016 or 2018, as many brought forward their 2017 purchase plans to beat the tax changes you mention.

        @JR reply; Please reply to what has been said, not what you think or hope has been said, Edward2 specifically talked about Diesel car sales, they have fallen through the floor.

    • ian wragg
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Jerry, when you have a government demonising cars particularly diesel driven and telling you they will be banned within a few years, of course sales are down.
      I am nearly 73 and replace my car every 3 years, I will probably replace it with a gas guzzler next year and keep that till I fall of my perch.
      Hammond and his gang are anti British and far removed from the public at large. People are beginning to notice and I wouldn’t be banking on a career in politics if I were them.

      • jerry
        Posted April 5, 2018 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        @Ian Wragg; Tell me something new! The motor car has been the villain to blame for all our social and health issues, and at the same time a cash-cow for the govt, for over the last half century. As it is, whilst diesel car sales have collapsed the sale of petrol, and now hybrid/electric, cars are still strong, just not as strong.

      • getahead
        Posted April 5, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        Hammond’s gang being his global corporate chums, definitely anti British. The cabinet follow their instructions. Which is why leaving the EU has become such a mess.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      That would be down to both the Chancellor and the Governor of the Bank of England and their policies and concerns on borrowing to buy new cars. Something I remember our kind host disagreeing with.

    • Jagman84
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      The fall in sales is mainly due to an imbecilic pronouncement, by HM Government, on the future of internal combustion engines in motor vehicles. Allied with an indecent haste to introduce fully electric vehicles, before the technology is fully developed and the required infrastructure for charging is in place. Whats next? Make all of British railways stock electric-powered and fail to electrify all of the lines? It would not surprise me in the least if all of this stems from an ‘EU directive’ for our Remainer Civil Service to gold-plate and rubber-stamp.

    • Zorro
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Purely self inflicted silly measures by P Hammon caused this drop in sales….

      Zorro

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 5, 2018 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

        Exactly – Hammond is indeed very, very silly indeed. How can anyone think that mugging private pensions pot further (G Brown did quite enough damage already), taxing people at 40% on death (over just 325K), taxing landlords on profits not even made and having property transfer tax at up to 15% is a good plan?

        Please fire this appalling, idiotic, tax ’til the pips squeak socialist now.

    • libertarian
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Jerry

      Some good points, however I think that the diesel farrago has added confusion to the market. Ive not upgraded my business fleet ( 14 cars ) so far as just not sure where the government are going with this

  4. Ron Olden
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    To this you could also add Steel where a German company is now co-operating with Tata, which prior to the Leave Vote was itself about to pull out altogether and shut the industry down.

    In fact Tata were trying to give their assets away for nothing to anyone who would take them.

    The lower £ has made the UK more competitive and the threat of tariffs works both ways. It encourages businesses to take the precaution of making sure they have a presence here in case the worst happens.

    The fact is that they sell more to us than we do to them So they are now moving in to make sure they can carry on doing so, by making the stuff here.

  5. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Just goes to show what a load of old tosh the remainers are capable of saying. Mrs May will play into their hands though. This government is the worst in a very long time John. They are doing so much damage to all sectors and not one of you has the gumption to take her out. What a mess.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      The worst in a very long time? Well quite some competition there – Heath, Major, Blair with his counter productive wars, Brown and “I am a low tax at heart Conservative, cast iron Eurosceptic” Cameron – who prepared for only one referendum outcome then just abandons ship!

      Still wait ’till we get Corbyn and Mc Donnall! I still think & hope that this total disaster can be avoided. Despite broken compass, socialist, micro manager, interventionist and social justice warrier Theresa May and highest taxes (and totally absurd ones too) for 40 years Philip Hammond!

    • Peter Wood
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Rejoice in some good news! But I agree Mrs May and team simply don’t get the national emotion. The fishing industry MUST be recovered and protected; this is becoming a cause to rally around. The Tory party must understand the fishing industry is symbolic of one nation leaving the EU, together. We cannot leave bits behind for the EU to kill off.

  6. Mark B
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Good morning – again !

    BL, or Rover as it became later known, was sold to BAE, who sold it to BMW, who sold it to the Chinese, who moved everything, and I do mean everything, to China to build cars there with the machinery and designs paid for by the British Taxpayer. Labour were in power at the time and did sweet FA !

    Ford was even more of a betrayal. Again – Labour ! This time the EU offered Ford cash to Turkey, yes, Turkey to build a plant out there rather than invest in the UK or another EU Country. They closed the Southampton plant. Someone from Labour once said; “British jobs for British workers.” This knowing full well that it was illegal to discriminate between EU Citizens over their nationality. Funny though, because I remember a company employing Italian workers over British (Welsh) workers and the UK Government and EU did, once again, Sweet FA !

    The point of this is. These people will invest in the UK if they think it is better for their business. If the UK government want to help they would be well advised to :

    a) Leave well alone.

    b) Do not tax or over regulate them.

    c) Cut energy costs.

    The UK is a great place for people to do business and will continue to be with the light touch government.

    • Andy
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      The EU did not pay Ford to move to Turkey. That is a completely distorted Leave lie. One of many.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 5, 2018 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

        Pot calling kettle.

        I witness you lie on this site nearly every day, Andy.

        Surprised you pass moderation.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:51 am | Permalink

        Turkey did using EU money.
        So wrong again as usual Andy.

    • Lifelogic.
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      When do you think we might actually get a light touch government?

  7. Little Englander
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    To borrow a phrase from HRH Sheikh Muhammad bin Rashid Al Maktum in his ‘address to the Nation’ some years ago:
    “We don’t wait for the future – we build it”.
    He did and so will we.

  8. Mick
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    All good stuff for Brexit and the motor industry and automotive suppliers, I did notice the good news was sticking in Len McCluskey throat as he was being interviewed and trying to put a negativety on it, no pleasing some people especially remoaners

  9. agricola
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    If the EU were stupid enough to force a reversion to WTO rules this might incentivise the likes of Mercedes to open plants in the UK too.

    • Jane4brexit
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Exactly I was going to write a comment at the end asking Mr. Redwood if I was being too simplistic in wondering that as Worldwide companies come to the UK to get access to Europe, shouldn’t a clean Brexit mean EU companies might open factories here for access to the World.

      It seemed so obvious I thought I must be missing something . Maybe not, I wonder if anyone in our pro EU Brexit team has even factored this in to their plans and calculations.

  10. Rien Huizer
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    The Japanese investments are on the assumption that there will be no meaningful change in profitability as has been made public by various representatives. It would meke sense to assume that Peugeot (Vauxhall’s new parent will want to keep the UK vans for a while pending an efficiency drive within the Opel business. Probably their announcement is to instill confidence in dealers and staff that they will continue, and the now plausible perspective that the UK will correct the impression that it will not be part of the, simplistically speaking European customs alliance (EU, Norway etc, Switzerland and soon to join, UK. Should the UK change course again, those carmakers will be able to reconfigure their supply chains and it is not too difficult to move car plants these days. Meanwhile GKN’s and Aisin’s plans for the future it are much more important for the UK car industry. Should they (especially Aisin) follow those investments, that might help the location decisions re the assemby plants. Then there is Honda’s diesel program that will end in 2019 and the future of BMW/Mini’s engine plant. Lots of moving parts, but see those automakers’ messages as signals that they diisapprove of a hard Brexit and would be happy to stay if the host remains welcoming, while they mave a multitude of options to move elsewhere.

  11. Ian wragg
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Could it be because the PM has assured them that we will be staying in the Customs Union and single market with BRINO.
    There’s more than a whiff of rot at the heart of government.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      I thought that too.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Something like that. By the way, the “Vauxhall” decision re Luton was the easy half of Peugeot’s British Opel problem. The vans currently produced in Luton sit on a Renault platform that Peugeot will not continue anyway, so the decision to “invest” past 2019 was mainly triggered by the need to replace the Renault platform by Peugeot’s own. Luton makes only 17K vans for export, hence a relatively easy decision. Port Ellesmere, where the Astra passenger cars are built is a plant that Peugeot will reassess in 2020 and then it will depend on efficiency and quality whether they will move to a Peugeot platform too. Imo the alternative would be closing the site. It is some 20% more expensive than internal benchmarks, apparently.

  12. Student
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Quite amusing to read this compared to the BBC headline ‘UK Car Registrations Plunge in March’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43643741

    “The SMMT has consistently blamed economic uncertainty, which it links to Brexit – and the collapse in diesel sales.”

    • oldtimer2
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      The drop in new car sales reflects extra taxes which came into force in April 2017 and the government’s open hostility to diesel engined cars (see comments by Gove) despite having promoted their use in earlier years by favourable tax treatment. This is bad news (not to mention a kick in the teeth) for the JLRs of this world who have invested £1 billion plus in a new engine plant in Telford. None of this has anything to do with Brexit.

    • John Finn
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Be careful you don’t take these numbers out of context. There appears to be a number of factors which contribute to the year on year fall – not least being the spike in demand in March 2017.

      This is a bit like the EU nurse registration figures which showed a spectacular fall ( if the months were carefully cherry-picked). In early 2016, it became a requirement that foreign born nurses should undergo a quite rigorous English language proficiency test. However, anyone whose registration was in progress could avoid the test if they completed the registration by the end of JULY 2016 (i.e. just after the referendum). Result: A large spike in registrations in July 2016 and a sharp fall after.

      From the BBC article (your link)

      “….in March 2017, new car registrations hit a record high. Buyers were rushing to get hold of new vehicles ahead of big changes to the vehicle excise duty regime, which sharply increased the rates payable on some cars.”

      The article also states “By historical standards, new car registrations are still at pretty high levels”

  13. Posted April 5, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Great!
    That’s good for employment and BREXIT – BUt won’t that also mean more cars on our already clogged up roads ….. It’s time the government helped to create other industries to take the place of cars running on the ground….

    • Lifelogic.
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Well some decent roads, tunnels, overpassses and bridges would be nice. Motorist pay many times over for them but they are never provided. Start by doubling the capacity of the Blackwall Tunnel, the M25, M3, M4, A1m, M1 and M6 get rid of half of the traffic lights, all the bus lanes and other obstructions and charge per mile rather than per vehicle with variable rates for peak times.

      Why do people buy new cars when second hand ones are so cheap and often rather better. The main reasons are vanity and a desire to show off or being forced into it by government taxes on older vehicles (often totally misguided taxes).

      • Posted April 6, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

        Yes – and good point about second hand cars

        What I’d like our government to do is to use some science/maths to resolve the road overcrowding, by analysis of journeys – currently they just look at a bottleckneck and try to handle that – If they knew where travellers really wanted to go, it is possible they could build them alternate routes… but as far as I can see, no work has been done on understanding our travel requirements, nor enough done to cut out unnecessary journeys…

    • Mark B
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Think exports.

      • Posted April 6, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

        Yes – partially – but whatever the number getting exported, we still end up with more cars on our roads … I’d like to see the government sink a little money into technologies that don’t have a knock on effect and cause other problems… As lifelogic says, why don’t we buy used cars more often….?

  14. Adam
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    End-using consumers dictate what is produced & at what price. Manufacturers try to make the most of what they can supply. Britain is returning to its better place with freedom to enable them.

  15. agricola
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Much as I accept that economic worries associated with Brexit will continue to concern us, there are much greater problems not getting the attention they merit

    First there is London becoming the random murder capital of the World, and other UK cities following close behind. It calls into question the quality of leadership and training of senior police officers, their consequent priorities, the actual number of police on the streets, and government spending on policing.

    Then there is Turkey, a member of NATO, under the leadership of Erdogan, consorting with Putin of Russia, and Rouhani of Iran ostensibly to solve the Syrian problem. The fact that Erdogan sees it as a means of suppressing the Kurds, Putin as a means of undermining NATO, and Iran to have more allies in the area and wider, which she would wish to destabilise, cannot be anything but a major concern for Israel and the USA. The EU is totally ambivalent .Some want Turkey as a member, others are much less enthusiastic. Ultimately it brings into question Turkey’s membership of NATO. Worrying because she controls the second gateway to the Mediterranean, and has the largest land force in NATO.

    Finally I think there is a need for a World conference on trade among the major players. I have sympathy for Donald Trumps reaction to Chinese dumping and disdain of patents and copyright. Plus of course EU protectionism and it’s reciprocation in the USA. It needs sorting out before it gets out of hand. Free flowing trade and the prosperity that ensues is the way forward. Lets get it sorted before it gets worse. Here I would put forward my idea that the currently benign Commonwealth should become one of the great truly free trading areas of the World.

    That’s me done for the day, but please give it some thought.

  16. acorn
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    In context JR, a £100 million to upgrade a Van factory, would just about buy four miles of Motorway.

    The question of was it Brexit or not Brexit that caused or did not cause whatsit. Have a look at the actual numbers. I tried to explain the difference between money and credit the other day, alas, that fell on stony ground.

    https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/statistics/visual-summaries/money-and-credit-statistics

    You can see the actual affect of the June 16 referendum. Money and credit expansion is gradually slowing down. Households are doing their best keeping the retail sector alive with more borrowing and will probably keep aggregate demand in the economy up for another two or three quarters.

    • Prigger
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      “Households are doing their best keeping the retail sector alive with more borrowing… I’m not doing my best. I buy what I wish, not to keep “the retail sector alive “. I don’t borrow money. I do not have to. No, I’m not rich. I only ever earned a maximum two thirds of the starting salary of a nurse , usually less.
      People spend too much. Borrow too much to satisfy silly dreams well beyond their sustainable income.

      • jerry
        Posted April 6, 2018 at 6:21 am | Permalink

        @Prigger; There is some truth in what you say, some have become far to dependant on the availability of credit and far to many businesses have become far to dependant on contracted future payments, hence why far to many companies care only for new customers or fresh contracts, not loyalty.

        Is it not time for govt to extend the same payment protection laws that Credit cards have to offer to Bank Debit Cards, far to many people are tempted to over-extend themselves due to using a CC simply to protect themselves against rouge traders & card fraud etc?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      If you believed the Treasury before the referendum you would be surprised that those numbers have even stayed positive since we voted to leave the EU. Let alone that they are running at about 4% expansion a year, about the same as at the beginning of 2016 when the Prime Minister and Chancellor were going around predicting catastrophe if we didn’t vote the way they wanted. And as far as lending is concerned that 4% level is about 4% higher than the average over most of that Chancellor’s tenure, when it was was close to zero. It would be more useful if you offered a reasonable explanation of why there was a brief upsurge in the numbers during 2016, a clear departure from a more slowly rising trend.

      • acorn
        Posted April 5, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        Forward currency buying on margin, in anticipation of the Pound being hit. Turned out to be a nice little earner.

    • ian wragg
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      This is happening worldwide and is more to do with reigning in of QE. do with Brexit.
      I don’t think China or the he EU.

    • jerry
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      @acorn; Indeed, and the real test is not in the commercial van sector but what will happen at the Ellesmere Port plant.

  17. Ken Moore
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Maybot is waffling on about the ‘gender pay gap’ on the news of an epidemic of murder in the capital. Caused in part by her by thwarting stop and search and cutting police numbers. Major, Cameron and now the cruellest blow of all – May. Your party must really despise small c conservatives like me.
    There is no gender pay gap. It is a complete myth. At matching levels of experience, competence, responsibility and commitment people are paid the same per hour in the vast majority of professions. Manchester Utd football club has a gender pay gap of nearly 100%. It is a meaningless yardstick. Different work/lifestyle choices and maternity have an impact – more government isn’t the answer. Doesn’t this wretched woman ever talk to normal everyday people ?

    • Ken Moore
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

      I could add to the charge sheet the loose use of the facts over the Salisbury affair that may well come back to bite us. It’s typical of her strange relationship with the factually correct truth. Like ‘single market’ and ‘customs unions’ and ‘European economic area’, May doesn’t seem to know the difference between the Soviet Union (where Novichok was developed) and Russia (where it was most certainly not) . Anyway it’s been a convenient smokescreen for her multiple failings on the Brexit front.

      Blunderwoman should be kept as far away from the wheels of power as possible.

  18. Yossarion
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Rover was given 50M by the Labour Government, when the election was over it was moved lock stock and barrel to China.

    • Prigger
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      @ Yossarion. We do pin our patriot dreams on icons like Rover, Rolls Royce etc. In truth they were merely old technology. The names now are not what they were and can never be what they were most likely. We need a People’s car called “Brexit”. The intelligent person’s driving machine!

  19. Newmania
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    The Vauxhall commitment will be a huge relief to the staff whose jobs Brexit jeopardised. The amount involved, however, is trivial and one has to assume that no real decision has been made .
    It is quite clear that a Plant devoted to production for the European market cannot survive the imposition of tariffs and customs checks, and unless there is a structural change it will be gone in due course .
    It is a terrible situation to be in and I can only say I am delighted that there is more hope now than there was last week .

    ( How much they will appreciate the crowing of Brexiteers I think we can guess….)

    • Prigger
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Newmania.
      No, you hope for failure. The best you can do is to be “delighted” grudgingly for what you perceive as mild success but underlying failure. The Remoaner camp cannot respect democracy.Cannot grow up and respect they lost. Cannot genuinely hope for the best. Instead they delight in the smallest event which they believe will eventually prove them right. Being adult is to accept failure. Also to admit you are wrong.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Big car companies and their suppliers have coped with large variations in the dollar rate and the Euro rate over recent times.
      A tariff of a few percent is minor by comparison.
      Assuming a no tariff deal being offered by the UK is refused by the EU.

      • Ken Moore
        Posted April 5, 2018 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

        Then there is the problem of Eu type approvals. When the Uk leaves the single market it will no longer be approved to sel vehicles into the EU as a ‘third country’.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 6, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

          The automotive industry currently sells worldwide and manufactures to many different national specifications without problems.
          We already make vehicles which conform to European requirements.
          Type approval is done in the country of manufacture a certificate is produced and this is sufficient for clearance.
          This is what for example Japanese and Korean and American vehicle makers do currently.

    • formula57
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      @Newmania “( How much they will appreciate the crowing of Brexiteers I think we can guess….)”

      My guess is that the crowing (if any) of Brexiteers at good news is very substantially more welcome than the crowing of Remoaners at bad news.

    • libertarian
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Newmania

      As you have absolutely zero knowledge of business I think we can safely ignore you. Manufacturing companies invest for the medium to longer term. It is quite clear that car makers are perfectly capable of exporting cars wherever there are willing buyers… So fed up with this ignorant and frankly dim comments

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted April 7, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      According to Peugeot the Luton plant sells only 17K vans in the EU (out of a production of some 70-100K depending on capacity utilisation. Ellesmere sells the vast majority abroad (under the Opel badge). Opel advertises with “German quality” selling models made in Korea, Spain and the US…

  20. Epikouros
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    The major factor affecting inward investment I would suggest is the economic especially tax and employment environment. Not Brexit and why should it be world trade before the advent and during the period we have been in the the single market has continued. All membership of the EU has done is make it more difficult for the UK. Brexit will solve that problem and trade with the EU will continue. Even if that involves tariffs they will be set by the WTO in the usual way and we can compensate by not having to apply restrictive practices as dictated by Brussels which have acted like tariffs anyway. No Brexit cannot reasonably be seen as disadvantaging the economy, society, commerce or trade. In fact to claim that it will is being disingenuous as it will in fact be a liberating factor on all those areas as it will produce more prosperity as it will afford the UK greater opportunities.

  21. DBC Reed
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    This Vauxhall deal has been secured with a hefty wodge of Government money (according to FT).If Brexit means British industry is to be maintained with regular public sector subventions then this is a major improvement and I have badly misjudged the Brexiteers who appear to have a secret Pinko side.

  22. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Just a reminder that while the UK car industry is a successful exporter that is with the rest of the world outside the EU, not with the rest of the EU where we run a massive trade deficit in vehicles. Of course when the previous Prime Minister and Chancellor toured plants before and during the EU referendum campaign they didn’t make that fact clear, they hoped voters would assume the UK had become a net exporter of cars to the rest of the EU.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      It seems to be about once a month that their lies have to be exposed:

      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/03/06/complex-supply-chains-and-industrial-integration/#comment-923426

      “I wonder how many people will open that link … they should do, because there is the picture that was painted by David Cameron, George Osborne et al:

      “80% of the UK’s automobile production is exported, of which 52.8% (worth €14.6 billion) goes to EU member states.”

      And then there is the other side that they very carefully never mentioned:

      “THE OTHER WAY ROUND, the EU represents 81% of the UK’s motor vehicle import volume, worth €44.7 billion.”

      €44.7 billion imports divided by €14.6 billion exports = 3.06.

      In value car imports into the UK from the rest of the EU are THREE TIMES the exports from the UK to the rest of the EU; the UK runs a trade surplus in cars with the rest of the world outside the EU, not with the rest of the EU:

      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2017/03/17/movement-in-eu-thinking-on-brexit-and-populism/#comment-860687

      From the figures given above in terms of value about 89% of new cars purchased in the UK have been imported: €6.9 billion are manufactured in the UK and are not included in the 80% of production which is exported, plus €55.2 billion imported = €62.1 billion total, €6.9 billion divided by €62.1 billion = 0.11.”

  23. billR
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Nissan Toyota and Vauxhall all realize that we are going to become a more cohesive inward looking society after the walls go up and the borders are closed, foreigners will not be living here in the same numbers so we will not be buying Mercedes or BMW to the same extent and with a population of 50 million plus it still makes perfect sense to invest for the future british needs. Anyone in the future who can afford to buy a BMW I presume can also afford the extra 10 per cent that comes with tariffs.

  24. Monza 71
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I suspect this is all to do with our efficient car plants rather than Brexit.

    Of much more concern should be the 15.9% fall in car sales in March which can be blamed on Government indecision and the Chancellor’s penal rates of Road Tax.

    Frankly, nobody trusts him not to increase car taxes still more and, like me, they are not risking buying a new car because of him.

    • Timaction
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Who wants to drive and wreck new cars on potholed roads. I’ve paid for tracking alignment twice in 18 months!!! Car purchase tax and VAT. Petrol tax and VAT. Road Tax. Council tax. VAT on car parts and repairs. The Government use motorists as cash cows with inadequate roads!!!!

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic:

    Here is what the quisling majority on the Commons Brexit committee say about their preferred EFTA/EEA, some would say “BRINO”, outcome:

    https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmexeu/935/93505.htm#_idTextAnchor019

    And here is part of what a leading advocate of that outcome says about that report:

    http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=86821

    “… the MPs underline an essential discontinuity in their own report, when they argue that “the EEA option is available off-the-shelf and could be negotiated relatively quickly”. This short sentence really does show … they don’t understand what the EEA Agreement is all about …

    With the UK’s own specific requirements – not least agency participation and the inclusion of provisions on agriculture and fishing – inclusion of the UK in the agreement as an Efta state would require extensive negotiation which would not be a quick process, and more so if freedom of movement was to be tackled by way of treaty change.”

    Which is more or less what I said yesterday, but from the point of view of somebody who once seriously considered the idea of joining EFTA to stay in the EEA as a transitional state to ease our withdrawal from the EU, but eventually decided against it:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/04/04/european-health-costs/#comment-928586

    “As repeatedly pointed out there are multiple disadvantages with that so-called “alternative”, but to start with I would challenge his assumption that it could be negotiated “relatively quickly”, or even that it could be negotiated at all.”

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted April 7, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      “Quisling majority”. Norwegians/Norsemen in Parliament? Maybe these people have different priorities than many people here and maybe those are so attractive that they form a majority. Democracy at work.

  26. margaret howard
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    So Britain will be forced to rely on foreign car manufacturers who no doubt will welcome a future without pesky EU quality and employment rules.

    • libertarian
      Posted April 5, 2018 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      margaret howard

      ha ha ha that would be the EU rules that bought law suits against BMW, VW and others in the USA for falsifying their emissions data would it? Or would it be the EU rules that told us diesel was the way forward or the same EU who told us it wasn’t.

      By the way the UK’s labour and employment rules are amongst the best in the world. Try looking up the minimum wage , holiday entitlements , workplace pensions, etc etc in all the other EU countries

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted April 7, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Britain is already relying on foreign car manufacturers for everything except Morgans (even Aston Martin is majority foreign owned, but al least headquartered in the UK. Nominally, Jaguar/Landrover is UK headquartered too, but the strategic shots are called in Mumbai.

  27. Writer
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    “‘Un-PC’ male choir forced to cut ties with Derbyshire Police” Sky News
    I must say I find the lack of diversity in cellos and double basses disgusting too.

  28. Scheingericht
    Posted April 5, 2018 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    “Carles Puigdemont freed on bail by German court”
    The European Arrest Warrant…as held up to the skies by the Remoaners as a victory for European Security Cooperation is a Paper Tiger.
    Mind you, its good at detaining sick babies.

  29. ian
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    The British public was blindsided by charlatans back in 1979 and in 1997 the establishment chose the best person they could find to carry on their work, being blinded by party loyalty is no excuse for not getting the facts wrong, the British public have been undermined since parliament has started, it has gotten worst since the big money started to roll in in the eighties, Brexit is not about the EU persae, it’s about the people taking control of parliament for the first time in their lives and kicking out the parties that work for corrurt establishment, corporation and countries.
    That’s your job, the public, to get the job done, failing to get the job done will result in the majority people in this country living at the bottom of the western worlds food change.

  30. ian
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    I mean, at the bottom of the western world’s food chain.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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