The downfall caused by the U.K.'s decision to leave the European Union may be taking another victim with it: U.S. automakers.
Shares of Ford Motor (F) and General Motors (GM) were both down nearly 3% in Monday's trading, continuing Friday's selloff spurred by the "leave" camp's win in Thursday's referendum. The selloff outpaced the broader S&P 500, which closed down nearly 2%. (Ford is part of the Dividend Stock Advisor portfolio.)
"While we are hedged against the U.K. pound sterling in the short term, we would expect that the combination of a softer industry and a weaker sterling would have an adverse impact on our operations in the long term," a Ford spokesperson said in an email to Real Money Monday. The company also said it would issue revised 2016 guidance during its second-quarter earnings call on July 28.
Ford had hoped the U.K. would have voted to stay in the EU. During the company's first-quarter earnings call in April, CEO Mark Fields stressed the importance of the U.K. to Ford's business.
"When you look at the issue around the Brexit, obviously, the U.K. is a very important market for us and what is important for us as a business is stability, particularly stability in trade, and that's important because that allows us to continue to build a strong business in the U.K. for the over 14,000 folks that are part of the Ford team there," Fields said. "And that's why our position has been that it is beneficial for the U.K. to be part of a single market, a reformed EU."
In fact, the company boasted of the success of its European business during that same call, noting that it recorded its fourth consecutive profitable quarter on the Continent. It was the company's "best result" in Europe since 2008. Of the 53,000 people Ford employs in Europe, 14,000 are based in the U.K.
Like Ford, fellow Detroit-based automaker General Motors was also hoping for the U.K. to vote to remain. In a statement emailed to Real Money, General Motors stressed the importance of the U.K. at least in some way staying connected to the mainland.
"It is also important that business continues to benefit from the free movement of goods and people during this period. Communication on the development of the future relationship with the EU should also be clear and transparent. We fully support remaining part of the European Economic Area," the company said.
General Motors was able to record "break-even" results in Europe in the last quarter but during April's earnings call, the company wondered about potential headwinds of Brexit.
"We are still committed to drive that business to break even this year, but versus where we were three or four months ago, I'd say the biggest cloud or headwind out there is the currency environment, and what's driving that is the weaker pound sterling, which obviously isn't being helped by the Brexit situation," CFO Chuck Stevens said. "And I'd say that's the biggest risk that we have amongst many, but that's the biggest risk that we have right now that we are working to manage through."
Now that risk is staring automakers in the face.