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Jaguar Land Rover ‘dependent’ on free trade with EU single market

Britain's biggest carmaker is dependent on continued free and fair trade with the EU's tariff-free single market, Jaguar Land Rover's chief executive has said.

"Europe for Jaguar Land Rover is the most important market," Ralf Speth told CNBC Tuesday. "So we are absolutely more or less dependent on free and fair trade."

Europe is one of JLR's largest export markets: it currently sells around 120,000 vehicles to the continent each year. However, the firm also relies heavily on Europe as a supplier, importing parts to the U.K. to produce up to 600,000 units annually. Carmakers are concerned that if the U.K. is excluded from the EU's free trade association post-Brexit could mean added costs in both the supply chain and sales.

"It's important for the complete export industry to have free and fair trade," said Speth, insisting that he did not need to lobby government for assurances for the autos industry.

"Government doesn't need anything from me – they know better."

The U.S. is also a large export market for the car manufacturer and it would be hurt by proposals to impose new border taxes on imports.

"Lowering corporate tax but increasing border tax will really cause us difficulties," said Speth.
Nevertheless, he confirmed the firm has no plans to open operations in the U.S.

"(Moving operations) will take years. We will not start to do that right now."

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