Critical motorists will have to pay up to £ 1,700 more for two popular Ford models this year after being hit by new tariffs after Brexit.
The manufacturer has increased the list price of the sport versions of the Fiesta and Puma series, both made in the European Union and exported for sale to the UK.
The price increases are due to the airline’s warning that delays in Calais and other French ports will worsen as the number of trucks returns to normal levels and customs officials step up controls.
The three models of the Fiesta ST rose by £ 1,455 to £ 1,695 to a maximum of £ 28,770. The recently unveiled Puma ST went on sale from £ 28,495, but that base price has gone up to £ 30,415.
A Ford spokesman confirmed that the company passed on the fees payable if the cars left the EU on a trip to the UK because it violated the “rules of origin”.
Their 1.5 liter engines are made in America, which increases the proportion of components from outside the UK or the EU to above the duty-free level allowed under the trade agreement agreed by Boris Johnson.
This is apparently the first time since Brexit that a major automaker has been forced to pass on tariffs.
A Ford UK spokesman told Autocar magazine that the increases “have everything to do with Brexit prices”. He added: ‘There are two Ford models in the top of the range Fiesta and Puma ST that are sold in the UK and are now outside the set limits for local content in the UK and EU under the rules of origin and therefore subject to a tariff. The prices of these vehicles were increased in late December. ”
The other versions of the Fiesta, Britain’s most popular new car model with around 80,000 copies in a normal year, are not affected, however, as their one-liter engines are made in Germany near the assembly plant. The puma is assembled in Romania.
Meanwhile, French ministers have warned UK truck drivers that their customs officers “will be extra vigilant in the coming week” as UK hauliers have reported delays and significant financial losses – and fear that more drivers will have their lunch.
James Withers, chief executive of Scottish Food & Drink, said the companies had already lost £ 250,000 in the chaos and the goods hadn’t even reached the French border as companies struggled to secure transport companies.
He said the situation was worsening and urged the government to “start talks with the European Commission to introduce a grace period for the application of these new rules”. He added, “It has a ripple effect. Much of the output is trust-based – it takes longer to recover than an IT system. ”
The Road Haulage Association told the Standard that the industry was “only making us difficult.”