BMW warns a no-deal Brexit would mean Mini production cut in Oxford affecting UK jobs

BMW warns a no-deal Brexit would mean Mini production cut in Oxford affecting UK jobs
BMW warns a no-deal Brexit would mean Mini production cut in Oxford affecting UK jobs

Car manufacturer BMW has warned a no-deal Brexit would mean a cut in production of the Mini at its factory in Oxford.

The firm’s chief financial officer Nicolas Peter said manufacturing was likely to drop at the Cowley plant, which in turn would affect jobs.

“No-deal would mean that, most likely, [World Trade Organization] tariffs would be imposed from 1 November onwards,” Mr Peter told the BBC. “This would mean that we would most likely have to raise the prices of the products produced in the UK and shipped to other markets [in the EU].

“The increase of price means an impact on the volume you sell, and would eventually lead to a reduction of produced cars in Oxford.”

BMW warns it may cut Mini production in event of a no-deal Brexit
BMW warns it may cut Mini production in event of a no-deal Brexit (Photo: GEOFF CADDICK/AFP/Getty)

Mini makers no deal cut

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made a “do or die” pledge to deliver Brexit on October 31 with or without a deal. BMW, which also has a Mini plant in The Netherlands, said it had no plans at present to shift production from the UK but would need to reduce output in the wake of a no-deal Brexit. Its Cowley plant will be closed on 31 October and 1 November.

Mr Peter was speaking at the Frankfurt Motor Show, where fellow car manufacturers expressed their own concerns about the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.

The PSA Group, which owns Peugeot, Citroen and Vauxhall, has stopped investment at its Vauxhall factories at Ellesmere Port and Luton during this period of Brexit uncertainty. And the group’s chief executive Carlos Tavares has described the prospect of a no-deal Brexit as an impending train crash.

He told motoring publication Autocar: “We should all say, as citizens of Europe or Britain, that we cannot accept no deal.

“In our industry, if there was a big dispute, everyone would say we need a better dialogue. These people were not elected to create a lose-lose situation.

“We must tell them: you have to find a deal. Setting two trains running towards one another at full speed – so each side can prove its strength – makes no sense at all.”

Train crash

In the event of no deal, he said PSA’s priority would be “protecting the company”.

“You cannot expect employees of one part of the company to pay for another”, he added.

While Jaguar Land Rover’s chief executive Dr Ralf Speth said stockpiling parts to avoid the disruption of a no-deal Brexit would not be possible.

‘Protecting the company’

He told Sky News: “You have to know that we need 20 to 25 million parts per day delivered on time at the assembly lines in order to produce a vehicle.

“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.”

The Prime Minister has previously said the UK could continue tariff-free trade with the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit under a provision of article 21 of the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).