No-deal Brexit may force BMW to pull Mini production out of UK
Jobs at the firm’s facilities in Oxford and Warwickshire could be at risk
BMW has warned that it could halt production at its Mini facility in Cowley, Oxford, if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal.
Peter Schwarzenbauer, head of BMW sub brands Mini and Rolls-Royce, told Sky News that a no-deal Brexit would be “a huge burden for the Mini brand”.
“If this comes, which is the worst case scenario, we would need to consider what it exactly means for us in the long run. And for Mini, this is really a danger. No doubt about that,” he said.
When the broadcaster asked whether the German carmaker would move Mini production out of the UK if the country fails to agree a deal by 29 March, the date the UK officially leaves the EU, he said: “We have to at least consider it.”
Schwarzenbauer also warned that engine production at the company’s facility in Hams Hall, Warwickshire, may be moved to its plant in Austria.
“We have some flexibility on the engine side with Steyr in Austria,” he told Reuters. “We are preparing to be able to do it. Like we are preparing warehouses in the UK to produce cars.”
BMW isn’t the only company expressing concerns over the impact of a no-deal Brexit.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Didier Leroy, Toyota’s chief of European operations, said a hard split from the EU would be “terrible” and pose “big additional challenges” for the company in Britain.
Around 10,000 people are employed by the two companies and their executives’ comments follow a series of warnings from other major carmakers in recent months, the news site says.
Last week, Aston Martin said that it would be creating a £30m contingency fund to ensure its operations would not be affected by a turbulent divorce from the EU.
Jaguar Land Rover also cut 4,500 jobs from its 40,000-strong workforce in January. The move was the result of continuing uncertainty over Brexit, as well as growing concern over diesel cars and slowing sales in China.