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Tavares: UK needs localised battery production to avoid trade wars

The UK needs its own battery supply to protect against future trade wars with the European Union, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares has warned.

Currently, the trade agreement between the UK and EU allows the tariff-free shipment of parts across the border, but any collapse in that agreement could jeopardise the UK vehicle manufacturing industry, Tavares told journalists on a call. “The day something goes south in the deal between the UK and continental Europe, then the market will suffer enormously,” he said.

Stellantis is currently “ramping up” production of electric compact vans in its Ellesmere Port plant after switching production from the Vauxhall/Opel Astra, Tavares said. Stellantis is also investing in switching Vauxhall’s Luton van-making facility to produce electric versions as well, he added.

The UK works as a manufacturing location for Stellantis because it is able to import batteries from the EU tariff-free.

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