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UK auto trade body says investment in industry stalls

Posted at 1:11 AM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-31 04:11:03-04

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s auto trade body says investment in the industry effectively stopped in the first half of this year amid fears the U.K. will leave the European Union without a transitional deal to protect trade.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said Wednesday that companies made just 90 million pounds ($110 million) of new investments in the industry in January-June, compared with an average annual total of 2.7 billion pounds over the previous seven years. Car production dropped 20.1% in the first half.

SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said concern about a no-deal Brexit is causing investors to sit on their hands.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson took office last week promising to leave the 28-nation bloc by Oct. 31 with or without a deal, triggering a drop in the pound.