Will Brexit Drive Up Prices of British Cars?

      June 28, 2016 10:34

      Jaguars, Land Rovers and Minis are expected to get more expensive here after the U.K. leaves the European Union.

      The companies who make the luxury cars say no price hike is imminent as the U.K. remains in the EU for at least another two years, but industry watchers say eventually the scrapping of tariff benefits will lead to rising prices.

      According to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association, Korea imports 70 British models and 8,851 of them were sold here in the first five months of this year, 10 percent of total car imports.

      Under the Korea-EU FTA the eight-percent tariff on British cars in Korea was scrapped in 2014, but once the U.K. exits the EU it would be restored.

      Jaguar Land Rover's Korean office imports 23 Jaguar and 13 Land Rover models from the U.K. Land Rovers are extremely popular here with 4,362 of the luxury SUVs sold in the first five months of this year.

      Jaguar Land Rover said no price hikes planned at the moment and pledged to come up with a wide range of plans over the next two years to avoid them.

      BMW's Mini compacts, another popular model here with the sales of 2,704 units between January and May, are also mostly manufactured in the U.K. BMW also said no price hikes are planned at the moment but declined to make predictions.

      Rolls Royce, the British luxury brand in BMW's stable, and Volkswagen's Bentley both manufacture the high-end vehicles in the U.K. But they cost hundreds of millions of won and are not expected to see major dents in sales due to rising tariffs.

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