LONDON, United Kingdom - The Chief Executive of British luxury sports car manufacturer, Aston Martin, has hinted Americans will get their cars cheaper if the UK leaves the European Union. Andy Palmer wrote to all of his employees to say Brexit would lead to a fall in the value of the pound, making all British exports cheaper, including his company's supercars.
There has been a fierce debate in Britain about the effect Brexit might have on the car industry. The Remain campaign claims the EU will put up trade tariffs against British cars, forcing large manufacturers like Nissan to relocate. However, Leave advocates point out the UK is one of the biggest consumers of German cars, and this would make Berlin reluctant to see any restrictions on cross-channel free trade.
Palmer’s letter to Aston Martin staff was balanced and sought to inform the 1800 employees on the issues for and against EU membership. He conceded that leaving would have a short-term impact on Britain’s GDP, but he said the reduction in the value of the pound was likely to offset this.
Brexit campaigner, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, told the Daily Mail: “Car manufacturers are doing much better outside of the single market. They are refusing to see this and are just drinking their own bathwater. It’s good to see that Aston Martin is being more phlegmatic – much like James Bond would be.”
Any fall in the pound is unlikely to make Aston Martins a regular sight in middle-class American neighborhoods. Experts are predicting the pound would fall by no more than 20 percent, wiping a massive $40k off the price of an average Aston Martin... But that would still leave consumers needing to find $160k!
Crony Capitalist Soros Warns Of Pound Devaluation
Not everyone welcomed the suggestion the pound might fall after Brexit. The billionaire financier and pro-European, George Soros, claimed a falling pound would leave many in Britain worse off.
Mr Soros is famous in the UK for forcing the devaluation of the pound on ‘Black Wednesday’ 1992. He made $1.5bn in one day by ‘shorting’ the pound and forcing it down by 15 percent against the dollar.
However, the reduction in the value of the pound did help Britain climb out of a recession it had been gripped by because it was able to export more competitively.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer on Black Wednesday, Lord Lamont, dismissed Soros' claims that a devaluation was a bad thing.
He said: “The devaluation of sterling in September 1992 didn't do the UK economy any harm, far from it. Nor would a fall in the pound this time necessarily be a disaster. The key difference between now and 1992 is that today the pound is floating and any devaluation could be self-correcting and temporary.”
The referendum is on Thursday, with Remain slightly ahead but within the margin of error.