Motor retailers have been told to plan for a “no deal” Brexit as supply line uncertainties appear more likely, following Britain’s planned departure from the EU in March 2019.
Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) Sue Robinson said while the lack of a free trade agreement and the imposition of a 10% tariff on imports was the association’s “least favourite outcome”, it was “important that members include a ‘no deal’ scenario in their future contingency plans.”
According to AM Online, talks during recent Brexit negotiations centred mostly around car manufacturing, with no mention of franchised dealers, which contribute more than £15 billion to the UK economy and employ more than 621,000 people.
Harald Krüger, chief executive of BMW, warned at the Paris Motor Show that plans to close the Mini plant in Oxford would, in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit be followed by a total closure, suggesting that the production would move to the Netherlands.
Jaguar Land Rover is also considering a Brexit-related extended closure of its Solihull, Castle Bromwich, Wolverhampton and Halewood factories after chief executive Ralph Speth said a ‘no deal’ Brexit would cost the business £1.2bn a year.
Speth said: “Everybody can do the maths. It is very open and very transparent. It is not only at Jaguar Land Rover, but it is also an element for the supplier industry and export industry in the UK.
“It will be very, very critical if we see a hard Brexit or no deal. Companies will disappear, plants will be closed. There’s no way to survive a hard Brexit for many industries.”
Marvin Cook, managing director of Toyota UK’s Burnaston manufacturing plant also said in an interview with BBC Radio 4 that a no-deal Brexit would cause stoppages there.
Cook said: “The evidence from not just Toyota, but other manufacturers, is that we need to absolutely be able to continue what has been a highly successful set of supply chains. We need to have a deal.”
To read more about this, visit AM Online’s website.
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