Failing to secure a deal with the EU could be "semi-catastrophic" for Aston Martin.
The UK remains divided over last year’s decision to leave the European Union. But if Brexit doesn’t happen, it could have repercussions in the British auto industry. The BBC reports Aston Martin fears that production of its supercars may have to be temporarily halted if the UK doesn’t secure a Brexit deal with the EU. Speaking at the Business Select Committee, Aston Martin’s Financial Officer, Mark Wilson, said that ceasing production could be “semi-catastrophic” for the company if a deal isn’t struck.
The problem lies with the fact that all vehicles in the UK are required to have Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) approval, also valid in the EU. However, if a deal between the UK and the EU isn’t reached, the validity of new vehicles in Europe will cease from March 2019. “For Aston Martin, it’s simpler than for larger international players,” Wilson told the committee. “We’re a British company, we produce our cars exclusively in Britain and will continue to do so. Without VCA type approval, it really is a stark picture for us. We need to make sure that type approval carries over, has validity and recognition, and has the equivalence it has today."
Otherwise, there are significant costs involved in gaining another type approval, but also the semi-catastrophic effect of having to stop production, because we only produce cars in the UK.” However, Wilson added he was “encouraged” that a transitional agreement could be reached that would allow production to continue. “During that transition, we would have to look at how Aston Martins were recertified under a non-VCA structure,” he added. The uncertainty about Brexit comes at a particularly bad time for Aston Martin, as the company recently invested in a former military base which is being converted into a production facility for the upcoming DBX crossover.