Jaguar Land Rover would “not be able to build cars” in the event of no-deal Brexit
Ralf Speth – the head of Jaguar Land Rover, Britain’s biggest car maker – has issued stark warnings over the implications of a no-deal Brexit.
Failing to strike a suitable agreement with Brussels ahead of Britain’s departure from the EU could halt production at the manufacturer’s factories in Castle Bromwich, Solihull and Halewood, resulting in the loss of “tens of thousands of jobs”.
The JLR chief exec revealed these potential realities during a speech at the zero-emissions summit in Birmingham, right before prime minister Theresa May took to the stage.
He went on to say that the prospect of a cliff-edge break with the EU would be “horrifying” and warned that if wrong decisions were taken now, it could result in the “worst of times” for the UK.
Mr Speth hastened to add that JLR remained “firmly committed” to the UK, but warned a hard Brexit would cost the manufacturer £1.2 billion a year, leaving the group with little to no profit.
He expressed concern over the prospect of car parts being held up at the border, potentially jeopardising production to the value of £60 million a day.
“Bluntly, we will not be able to build cars,” he explained.
“What decisions will we be forced to make if Brexit means not merely that costs go up, but that we cannot physically build cars on time and on budget in the UK?”
Cheaper in Slovakia
Mr Speth revealed that it was now cheaper for the company to make cars in Slovakia than in Britain.
“Six months from Brexit and uncertainty means that many companies are being forced to make decisions about their businesses that will not be reversed, whatever the outcome, just to survive,” he added.
The JLR boss’ words followed similar production-shifting warnings from BMW and Airbus.
Mrs May’s speech contained no reaction to Mr Speth’s claims nor any reference to Brexit.
Which Jaguar Land Rover cars are built in Britain?
JLR’s three UK-based vehicle assembly plants are responsible for producing almost every model in the Jaguar and Land Rover portfolios.
Castle Bromwich delivers the Jaguar XE, XF, XJ and F-Type, while Solihull handles production of the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Velar, Land Rover Discovery and Jaguar F-Pace.
Over in Halewood in Merseyside, the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque roll off the assembly line.
What do you make of Mr Speth’s comments? Should Mrs May cancel Brexit now? Let us know down in the comments…