Someone tell the UK to get it together so that this car can be built!
Politics and the automotive industry have been set on a collision course thanks to the craziness that was 2016. President-elect Donald Trump is targeting automakers that build cars abroad and sell them in the US, and the future of the automotive industry in the UK was cast in doubt thanks to Brexit. Cars will surely still be built in the UK, but some automakers, like Bentley, are reconsidering things. Wolfgang Durheimer, head honcho at Bentley, told Autocar that Brexit is muddying plans for a new model, rumored to be a grand tourer.
Said GT car would be based on the achingly gorgeous EXP 10 Speed 6, although Bentley has not officially came out and confirmed that the car is getting the green light. A decision on what model will reportedly be made midway through 2017, with Brexit partly to blame for the automaker’s indecision. “They want to know about stable plans - and at the moment there is no stability around Brexit. I cannot delay progress for Bentley, even if that means building cars outside of Britain - Bentley’s growth must come first, and building in Britain second,” Durheimer stated. Brexit is a huge issue for all automakers building in the UK, but for a smaller company like Bentley its impacts are greater.
Should Bentley decide to build in England it would need to be sure that whatever model it puts into production would be a high seller. It would also need to account for possible tariffs, should the UK not be able to strike a deal with the EU to remain in the single market. According to a study done by the think tank Civitas, tariffs on vehicles being exported from the UK could be as high as £1.3 billion ($1.6 million). The good news for the UK is that EU firms exporting cars would face tariffs more than twice as high, £3.9 billion ($4.9 billion USD). Germany would be on the hook for £1.8 billion ($2.3 billion). We won’t get too deep into the economic situation. Basically, Bentley is stuck between a rock and a hard place until Brexit negotiations move forward.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that it looks like a two-door ultra-luxury sports car is indeed on the agenda at Bentley. Durheimer didn’t come out and say anything directly, but the CEO did state that the company’s next model would be “younger and more exciting than anything in our line-up” and that it would “appeal to a completely new kind of customer.”