Campaigners wave an European Union (EU) flag and a Union flag, also known as a Union Jack, during an anti-Brexit demonstration outside the Conservative Party general-election campaign headquarters in London. (Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg)

Porsche Warns U.K. Buyers of Possible 10% Hard Brexit Price Hike

(Bloomberg) -- Porsche’s U.K. unit told customers they might have to pay as much as 10 percent more than expected if the country makes a hard Brexit and their imported car arrives after March 29.

The information is precautionary and will allow customers to plan ahead for if the U.K. leaves the European Union at that date, Porsche said Friday in an emailed statement. Customers who placed deposits on or before Jan. 17 won’t be affected.

The warning shot from Volkswagen AG’s most profitable division marks the latest sign that the U.K. failing to reach a divorce deal with the EU could send ripple effects across the industry and affect dealerships, factories and suppliers. Ford Motor Co. warned this week of dire consequences for its factories that employ more than 7,000 people if politicians fail to avert a no-deal split.

Affected Porsche customers will have the option to adjust their order accordingly, Porsche said in the statement. “Like the rest of the industrial sector, we need comprehensive clarity on the shape of future relations between the U.K. and the EU very quickly,” the company said.

Unlike Ford, Nissan Motor Co. and Jaguar Land Rover, the German sports-car maker has no manufacturing operations in the U.K. and imports all of its vehicles from EU states. Porsche delivered a record 256,255 cars worldwide last year, up 4 percent from 2017, fueled by growth in its largest markets, China and the U.S.

The U.K. has traditionally been one of Porsche’s largest markets in Europe. Well-heeled shoppers in London have snapped up its 911 sports cars and the Macan and Cayenne sport utility vehicles, which occasionally are mocked as “Chelsea tractors.”

Porsche’s popular Macan compact SUV, which starts at £46,344 ($59,723) including value added tax, would cost £50,978 ($65,695) if the duty was to be implemented. The surcharge would help Porsche protect earnings if no deal is reached and the U.K. falls back to World Trade Organization rules, ending an era of tariff-free transportation of goods within the EU, the world’s largest trade bloc.

“For us, the current state means a further period of insecurity and planning uncertainty,” Porsche said in the letter. “In light of the current difficult situation we continue to prepare for all eventualities.”

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.