Aston Martin, the luxury carmaker, is applying for a license from a regulator to have a new model in the European Union instead of Britain because of the uncertainty over vehicle rules post-Brexit.
Companies are aiming to protect themselves from risks that are related to the planned EU exit of Britain in 2019 and the essentially British brand that is famed for being the car of choice of James Bond, wants an EU body to give its approval for the company’s new Vantage model.
The Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) of Britain can, for now, sign off on models to be utilised in the whole of the European Union, just like the national equivalents across the 28-member bloc, and is where the previous Aston Martin models have already been certified.
However, earlier this month, the European Commission disclosed that the VCA would stop to have that authority after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union on March 29, 2019.
Therefore, Aston Martin is seeking approval from a different agency for the Vantage, which is priced from more than 120,000 pounds ($167,000) in the United Kingdom and is scheduled to roll off the production line at the Gaydon plant of the company in April.
On Monday, Andy Palmer, the Chief Executive of Aston Martin, told Reuters: “If it remains as it is and it’s not negotiated that the VCA can approve, then everybody that’s currently using the VCA has to get approval elsewhere, and we’ve already started doing that.”
Brussels and London hope to reach an agreement on a transitional deal at a summit that is scheduled to be held next month which will maintain unfettered and free trade until the end of 2020. However, it is not clear whether the agreements will include the mutual recognition of regulators.
In reference to the process for the approval of new cars, he said: “Because of lack of clarity…we have to take the safest scenario, and consequently we’re homologating outside of the UK.”
The UK government has pledged to align its regulations with ones in the European Union in some areas, including the automotive sector.
When asked whether Aston Martin will have to apply for a British vehicle licence for its new model alongside the one from the European Union. Palmer said that it was one of the many areas that must be clarified.
He stated: “That is a very good question, but probably the answer is yes. And regrettably, I have to answer you with ‘probably’ because nobody really knows.”
He added that obtaining approval in the United Kingdom and the European Union would result in additional costs.