WASHINGTON—Executives of the tire, auto and auto parts industries—like the rest of the world—are still trying to determine how the United Kingdom leaving the European Union will affect their businesses, two weeks after the Brexit vote occurred.
“The U.K. is an important market for Goodyear,” the tire maker said June 27, four days after 17.4 million British voters, representing 51.9 percent of the votes cast, decided that their nation should get out of the EU. “Like all global companies, we shall continue to assess the situation as it evolves.”
Bridgestone Americas also said it was in a watchful mode over Brexit.
“Obviously these are important markets to Bridgestone,” a company spokeswoman said. “But it is too early to tell what this will mean to Bridgestone going forward.”
Continental A.G. CEO Elmar Degenhart called Brexit “a cause of great concern” to the EU in a written statement to European Rubber Journal, a London-based sister publication to RPN.
Brexit will have a limited financial effect on Conti, which sells less than 3 percent of its worldwide products in Britain, Degenhart told ERJ. However, the prospect of the U.K. leaving the EU is “not the answer to the challenges we face from global competition with America and Asia.”
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., a tire maker with more ties to the U.K than perhaps any other, said it is monitoring the market reaction and other repercussions of the Brexit vote.
“We are currently assessing what impacts, if any, Brexit will have on our business,” Cooper said. “Cooper's footprint in Europe, with operations in the U.K. and continental Europe, positions us well to meet customer demand and respond to any charges.”
Cooper will address the effects of Brexit, along with other issues related to its business, when it releases its second-quarter results Aug. 4, the company said.
Freudenberg Sealing Technologies GmbH & Co. K.G., the Weinheim, Germany-based global sealing technology firm serving the automotive, industrial and other markets, said it was analyzing the potential effects of Brexit on its business.
“Overall, the global economic situation is also dependent on the consequences of a Brexit,” Freudenberg said in a written statement.
The short-term effects for Freudenberg depend on the performance of the British pound, the company said. Terms of the exit agreement England will negotiate with the EU over the next two years largely will determine the longer-term effects of Brexit, it said.
“Provided a Brexit does not lead to a global economic downturn, the effects for Freudenberg will be negligible,” the company said.
U.S. tire retailers expressed little concern about Brexit. There have been no calls to Tire Industry Association headquarters about the vote, and the subject did not come up during a TIA Board of Directors meeting the weekend after the Brexit vote, said TIA Executive Vice President Roy Littlefield.