Ford could pull manufacturing from UK in case of hard Brexit
Ford could pull manufacturing out of the UK if a hard Brexit makes doing business here too expensive.
The major car manufacturer’s boss of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Steven Armstrong, told Channel 4 News that introducing customs borders could cost the company $1 billion (£746 million) a year in tariffs.
He said: “We like being in the UK and I’ll do what I can to protect the business there because it’s a great place for us to operate and it’s a big market for us, but if it’s not competitive we’ll do what we need to do.
“No deal would be disastrous – not only for my business, but industry in general, so I don’t think ‘no deal’ is something anybody should be happy with or pushing for.
“Weve spent 40 years putting a supply chain together that uses the open European market, and it would be very difficult for us to quickly unwind that. If we have a hard border of some description, even if we manage without tariffs, we would have the potential for goods having to stop at a customs border – that’s less productivity and more cost to the business.”
The UK is Ford’s thirdbiggest market after the USA and China, and it’s not the only car manufacturer concerned about doing business here in the future.
Industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says new figures show how important a “frictionless customs border” is to Britain’s automotive industry.
SMMT president Tony Walker said at least 1,100 trucks cross into the UK from Europe delivering £35mworth of components to UK vehicle and engine plants. He warned that a no-deal Brexit would add £4.5 billion to the industry’s annual overheads.