The UK's vote to leave the European Union may cost automakers about 2.8 million light-vehicle sales through 2018, researcher IHS Automotive said in its latest projections for industry.
Worldwide deliveries may rise to 89.82 million this year, about 200,000 fewer than anticipated before last week's Brexit referendum, IHS Automotive said in an email. The researcher reduced estimates for 2017 and 2018 by about 1.25 million and 1.38 million, respectively.
"The UK is, unsurprisingly, anticipated to bear the brunt of the impact," said Ian Fletcher, a London-based analyst for IHS Automotive. Instead of expanding 3.2 percent this year, the UK market may grow by just 1 percent, followed by declines each of the next two years, IHS Automotive estimates.
The $20.65 billion UK auto industry ships about 80 percent of vehicle production overseas, with almost 60 percent of exports destined for the rest of the EU, according to Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the nation's motor industry trade group.
Toyota Motor Corp., the world's largest automaker, has said Brexit may lead to levies of as much as 10 percent on the Avensis and Auris cars it builds in the UK, challenging the company to cut costs or raise prices and hurt sales.