Brexit May Cost Carmakers 2.8 Million Vehicle Sales

IHS Automotive Gives Latest Projections

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The U.K.'s vote to leave the European Union may cost about automakers about 2.8 million light-vehicle sales through 2018, researcher IHS Automotive said in its latest projections for industry.

Worldwide deliveries may rise to 89.82 million this year, about 200,000 fewer than anticipated before last week's Brexit referendum, IHS Automotive said in an e-mail. The researcher reduced estimates for 2017 and 2018 by about 1.25 million and 1.38 million, respectively.

"The U.K. is, unsurprisingly, anticipated to bear the brunt of the impact," said Ian Fletcher, a London-based analyst for IHS Automotive. Instead of expanding 3.2% this year, the U.K. market may grow by just 1%, followed by declines each of the next two years, IHS Automotive estimates.

The $20.65 billion U.K. auto industry ships about 80% of vehicle production overseas, with almost 60% of exports destined for the rest of the EU, according to Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the nation's motor industry trade group.

Toyota Motor Corp., the world's largest automaker, has said Brexit may lead to levies of as much as 10% on the Avensis and Auris cars it builds in the U.K., challenging the company to cut costs or raise prices and hurt sales.

-- Bloomberg News

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