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Brexit batters Ford Europe as tumult sidelines UK car buyers

[SOUTHFIELD, Michigan] Ford Motor has Brexit to blame for the one surprise infringing on an otherwise better-than-expected quarter.

The carmaker swung to an US$86 million loss in Europe during the three months ended in September, trailing some analysts' estimates for a small profit.

British buyers are pulling back in Ford's most profitable market in the region amid stalled negotiations to separate the UK from the European Union.

"Europe will be the only thing I can see in the results that will be a surprise," chief financial officer Bob Shanks told reporters Thursday in Dearborn, Michigan.

"That decline is almost fully explained just by Brexit effects."

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Ford operates two engine plants and one transmission factory in the UK, where industywide car sales have slid each of the last six months.

The automaker estimates that Brexit headwinds are costing it about £600 million (S$1.08 billion) annually and is calling for clarity on talks with the EU by year-end.

The company also is pushing for a two-year transition period where current trading conditions will stay in place.

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