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Opinion Piece: Brexit & Squires Gear & Engineering

Whilst many, if not all of the labour force here at Squires, were very much Pro Brexit, I personally had my reservations. We work and operate in a very competitive industry, primarily, the ‘Automotive Supply Chain’. The thought of possible tariffs on the components we sell into Europe, would immediately make us uncompetitive, leading to the loss of business which at the moment, represents some 32% of our market share.

Opinion Piece: Brexit & Squires Gear & Engineering

With The Bank of England, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne and almost without exception, most of the major financial institutions, forecasting doom and gloom, should we exit the European Union, the prospects at that time seemed less than rosy.

However, the Referendum came and went and surprisingly, there was indeed, life after death. It was with some caution, when we opened work schedules from major clients finding business had not, as in 2007, fallen off a cliff. If anything, there has been a strengthening in the number of components required.

Our largest customer has a 40% share of its sales going into the EU. This has been strengthened by a 20% fall in the value of Sterling against the Euro, as indeed with our direct sales into the EU. All of a sudden, we have become very competitive as a trading nation with our European neighbours.

The down side of course, is that we are now having to pay more for commodities such as steel, the increase of which, is having to be passed on accordingly. Gone are the days, when we were forced to absorb increases through increased efficiency in the work place. This still goes on of course and always will do but increases are being passed on.

An enquiry from a motor component manufacturer in Spain, is looking very promising. Our quotation has been accepted for a part on a new Renault, soon to go into production. Whilst still waiting for the written confirmation order, we have been told we will be receiving this in due course.

Had this potential business happened without Brexit, I shall never know but I can’t help but feel, that our new found competitiveness has had a lot to do with it.

Doug Squires

Managing Director at Squires Gear & Engineering Ltd 

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