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Lithuania pitched as ideal relocation spot for UK automotive industry

A new campaign is positioning Lithuania as the perfect location for UK automotive businesses to relocate to following the Brexit vote.

The UK's car manufacturing industry

In 2015, 80% of cars made in the UK were exported

With the automotive industry expected to be one of the sectors most severely impacted by the UK’s vote to leave the EU, MEP Antanas Guoga says that Lithuania is perfectly positioned to step in.

As he states in his recent letter to the top heads of the automotive industry: “Today, amongst other things, you must be thinking about where to relocate your EU operations so that you will be able to access the European single market without restrictions. As a Member of the European Parliament and also the Chief Investment Officer of the City of Vilnius, I would like to invite you to explore Lithuania.”

Post-Brexit research carried out by PA Consulting found that the plants run by Honda and Toyota in the UK are most at risk of closure after Brexit. They are highly reliant on exports to Europe and have relatively low margins and profitability. Combined, they account for approximately 20% of the vehicles made in the UK. The resesarch also identified MINI and Vauxhall as being possibly at risk of moving their UK operations – which although they have a strong British heritage, especially MINI, have EU options.

Lithuania is ranked 4th worldwide as a  ‘high growth location’ for investment in manufacturing and is home to an expanding number of major international automotive companies such as Schmitz Cargobull, CIE Automotive, Yazaki, and AQ Wiring Systems.

The country is also currently ranked first within CEE and 27th globally for university industry collaboration in R&D by the World Economic Forum.

Mr Guoga is also highlighting the country’s located in the heart of Europe, bordering both Central Europe and the CIS, and within quick reach of Scandinavia and Western Europe.

“Our combination of deep technical expertise, commitment to quality and convenient logistic positioning for access to Scandinavia, the CIS and Western Europe makes Lithuania the perfect location for automotive manufacturers,” outlines Mr Guoga.

Kaunas, Lithuania’s second biggest city has also joined the campaign.

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.