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Hyundai UK shuns Brexit price rise trend for now

A number of car manufacturers are raising their prices in light of the UK’s Brexit referendum, but Hyundai UK has said it won’t be one of them for the time being.

Speaking to motoring magazine and website Autocar, Hyundai UK CEO Tony Whitehorn said current prices will be maintained to boost the appeal of its range, which now includes the Ioniq Electric and Hybrid.

“It is a strategic move for us, the strategic move being that we want to try and make our cars accessible; that’s key for us,” Whitehorn said.

“This year, we will not raise our prices; but that’s not saying that we will not raise our prices in the future, and that has been the strategy that we have taken here in the UK,” he added, leaving the door open to making up the difference at some point.

report in the Korea Herald claims Hyundai sees Brexit as “more of a threat than an opportunity”, with an anonymous source citing the fact that it sees faltering European economies as better than a stronger Yen and more stable than emerging countries.

In the same report, an unnamed senior analyst argued the opposite, stating that other countries may follow in the UK’s footsteps, which that would prolong a weak euro and make it harder for Hyundai to compete with its Germanic rivals.

The PSA Group, comprised Peugeot, Citroen and DS, slapped Brits with a two per cent price increase, while Ford went with a 1.5 per cent increase. Suzuki and Vauxhall added added a two per cent and 2.5 per cent increase, respectively, on certain models.

British manufacturer Caterham also increased prices, with the entry-level Seven 160 now £1,000 pricier. A spokesperson said the reason was due to “supplier price increases caused by uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the weakened sterling”.

Brexit price increases are a sore spot for consumers, given that car sales have so far remained stable, even improved in some cases, and that price decreases never happened at times of strength. Plus there is the fact we are still in the EU.

But then a 10 per cent weakening of the pound, give or take a per cent or two, was always going to hurt the bottom line and seems likely to continue to do so, at least until we – to use a charming expression – s**t or get off the pot.

Brexit is an abbreviation of British Exit, which refers to the UK’s vote to leave the European Union as part of a recent referendum initiated by ex-Prime Minister David Cameron.

It is currently unclear if triggering article 50 will ever go ahead, as the High Court ruled Prime Minister Theresa May would need parliamentary approval to initiate the process – something critics argue was already provided to grant a referendum in the first place.

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