No-Deal Brexit Will Hurt UK Car Workers Say Chiefs

Wed 11th Sep 2019

The financial implications of a no-deal Brexit on the UK car industry will be felt in the pocket of the workers building some of the country’s most iconic cars according to bosses at both BMW and Jaguar Land Rover.

BMW’s Chief Financial Officer Nicolas Peter and JLR’s Chief Executive Ralf Speth have both warned that a no-deal will test schedules at plants in the UK, with BMW warning that a no-deal will mean the MINI plant at Cowley, Oxfordshire will be forced to close with workers going without pay.

Both executives were being quizzed by the media at this week’s Frankfurt Motor Show, with the Brexit impact high on the agenda for many.

“Let us assume no-deal Brexit; it has been decided we shut down Oxford [on] October 31 and November 1 to avoid logistics issues.

“We have already introduced a holiday period for the team in April, so we are not capable [of taking] a second holiday period in 2019. This will have a financial impact for our colleagues working in Oxford.”

He added: “The logistics issue should not last too long – two weeks, three weeks at most.”

BMW had previously boasted that production of the new Mini Electric at Cowley will be unaffected regardless of the the Brexit outcome, the factory set to get under orders on the 1st November, one day after the proposed date for Brexit.

Speaking to Sky News at the same conference Ralf Speth said that assembly lines at the JLR factories are dependent on deliveries from mainland Europe, saying: “Stockpiling 20 million parts a day for more days is not possible at all.

“Nobody has got the warehouses, not the IT systems, not the logistical devices to make these kinds of stockpiling happen.”