Tuesday 23 July 2019

Local car industry on collision course with Brexit

Brexit impact

O’Leary’s Garage in Bunclody
O’Leary’s Garage in Bunclody

Brendan Keane

The car sales industry in Wexford could be dramatically affected by a 'no-deal' Brexit outcome with one independent dealer who spoke to this newspaper highlighting that intake of stock from the UK will likely cease completely from March 29 if no deal is reached.

Cormac O'Leary, from O'Leary's Garage in Bunclody, said that a 10 per cent tariff will likely be imposed on cars exported out of the UK once Brexit kicks in and that would have a disastrous affect on the car sales industry in Wexford.

'About a third of our stock here is from the UK and a 10 per cent tariff would mean importing cars would no longer be feasible.'

He said around 100,000 used cars are imported into Ireland from the UK each year and that would stop if a tariff was introduced.

'It's not just independent dealers who will be affected as bigger franchises import a lot of cars from the UK as well,' said Mr O'Leary.

When asked what the best case scenario for the Wexford car industry would be he said that things remaining as they are would be the best outcome for now: 'If things remained the same, that would be best, or an extension of Article 50 or another referendum but neither of those are likely to happen.'

'Ideally, another referendum with a different outcome would be the best situation for us,' he said.

He said that many dealers will likely stock up in March in the hope the situation might change by the summer.

'We don't know what is going to happen but it's definitely not looking very good,' he added.

Gorey Guardian