JLR boss issues Brexit warning to theresa May
THE boss of Jaguar Land Rover has told Theresa May that tens of thousands of jobs will be at risk if she gets Brexit wrong.
Ralf Speth, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We are absolutely firmly committed to the UK, it’s our home.
“But a hard Brexit will cost Jaguar Land Rover more than £1.2 billion a year - it’s horrifying, wiping our profit, destroying investment in the autonomous, zero-emissions, we want to share.”
He was speaking at the ICC in Birmingham, at an automotive industry conference attended by the Prime Minister.
Mrs May was announcing plans to ensure the UK remains a world leader in the design and manufacture of “zeroemission” vehicles which don’t contribute to air pollution, including electric cars.
But Dr Speth addressed delegates at the zero emissions summit before Mrs May gave her speech, and delivered a warning about the effects of leaving the EU without an appropriate trade deal.
Like many other carmakers, Jaguar Land Rover , which has major plants in Birmingham and Solihull, imports parts from across Europe.
Current EU rules allow those parts to come in to the UK without delays, but leaving the EU without a replacement deal in place could mean that production slows down or grinds to a halt.
Dr Speth said: “Just one part missing could mean stopping production at a cost of £60m a day. That is a huge risk. We depend on free, frictionless, seamless logistics.”
And he warned: “We, and our partners in the supply chain, face an unpredictable future if the Brexit negotiations do not maintain free and frictionless trade with the EU and unrestricted access to the single market.
“We urgently need greater certainty to continue to invest heavily in the UK and safeguard our suppliers, customers and 40,000 British-based employees.
“A bad Brexit deal would cost Jaguar Land Rover more than £1.2bn profit each year.”
He also said it was already cheaper to make cars in Slovakia than in Britain, adding: “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 budget in UK?”