A report released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) clearly demonstrates the critical importance of EU membership to the survival of the UK car industry.
With half of Britain's exports sold in the EU (a third of all vehicles produced in the UK), it is no wonder that 92% of SMMT members want to stay in and 47% say there would be a negative or very negative impact on their business if Britain left.
Catherine Bearder, local Lib Dem MEP, commented:
"We are proud of Britain's high quality workmanship in the motor industry.
"This report provides detailed evidence of the damage that would be done to our car industry if Britain abandoned its largest export market.
"The motor industry is truly European with parts made here and elsewhere in Europe and assembled here and sold back again across Europe.
"Also the EU is the global standard-setter for car industry rules and regulations. If we leave, we still have to apply the rules but have no say, so the UK's industry will suffer."
Business Secretary, Vince Cable, added:
"Manufacturer after manufacturer - Nissan, Honda, BMW, Ford - have publicly asserted the advantages of EU membership and underscored the message that the car industry cannot operate in isolation.
"The UK is part of the European market and our companies source more of their parts from the rest of the EU than they do from within the UK itself."
The report also shows the power of EU membership to open up valuable opportunities for the UK's car industry including increasing vehicle and parts exports to the US by 149% for the period of 2017-2027 as a result of EU-US negotiations on tariffs.
It demonstrates the importance of the EU to the supply chain as UK car companies source more of their parts from the EU than within the UK or abroad.
Bosch indicated the vital importance of EU membership to continuing innovation, efficiency and effectiveness of the car industry in the UK:
"Mobility of labour is important in providing opportunities for an exchange of ideas and also helping to mentor home-grown engineers."
EU trade agreements also open up large, protectionist countries like China and India which would be more or less impossible without the collective clout. India has car import tariffs of up to 100% and China of 26%. Switzerland and Iceland don't need to prise open these markets in trade agreements as they don't have a car industry.
Jaguar Land Rover argued Britain's