BMW still preparing for no-deal after UK parliament backs Brexit delay

Written by on March 15, 2019

Raindrops cover the bonnet of a BMW car in London
FILE PHOTO: Raindrops cover the bonnet of a BMW car in London, Britain, February 23, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

March 15, 2019

By Costas Pitas

LONDON (Reuters) – German carmaker BMW is continuing to prepare for a “worst-case scenario” no-deal Brexit after lawmakers voted to seek a delay to Britain’s exit from the European Union.

BMW builds over 15 percent of Britain’s 1.5 million cars, making Minis at a factory in Oxford and Rolls-Royce models at a southern English site in Goodwood in addition to more than 375,000 engines at its central English Hams Hall facility.

The firm said earlier this month that it could move some production out of Britain if the country does not secure an orderly departure from the European Union, another warning from a once soaring sector that is now reporting dips in investment, sales and output.

British lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to seek a delay to Brexit, which had been due on Mar. 29.

“As a responsible employer, we must therefore continue to prepare for the worst-case scenario, which is what a no-deal Brexit would represent,” said a BMW spokesman.

“In order to prepare for a postponement of Brexit, the BMW Group is currently examining various scenarios. Preparations cover all key areas of our business including manufacturing, sales … customs processes, IT and logistics.”

BMW’s Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, Jaguar Land Rover and Honda – together accounting for around 55 percent of UK car output – all plan to shut their factories in April from between a week to up to a month in case of any disruption from a no-deal Brexit.

A delay would ruin such contingency plans as shutdowns are generally organized months in advance so employee holidays can be scheduled and suppliers can adjust volumes, making them hard to move.

(Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Andrew MacAskill and Giles Elgood)

Source: OANN

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