Another 6,500 British automotive jobs in two car plants are on the line if the UK leaves the EU without a trade deal.
Mini workers 4,500 jobs will be be diluted in Oxford and Ford Dagenham may shift diesel engine production to Europe if no deal is done. There will be knock on effects to the plants’ UK suppliers and local economies as well.
Honda has said it will close Swindon in a couple of years and PSA/Vauxhall is looking at the cost implications to keeping its Ellesmere Port plant operating.
BMW’s Chief Executive said the German carmaker can move more production of its Mini to a plant in the Netherlands.
BMW said contract manufacturer VDL Nedcar had produced 211,660 cars in the Netherlands last year, a 39% increase in production, assembling the BMW X1 the Mini hatch, Mini convertible and Mini countryman models.
By contrast, Oxford made 234,501 Mini vehicles last year and its not clear if some or all of this work would go the Netherlands.
VDL Nedcar employs around 6,000 workers working in car assembly, compared with just over 4,500 people building Mini’s in Oxford.
“We are very flexible and we could adjust volumes at Oxford and at Nedcar in the Netherlands,” Harald Krueger told analysts in a call to discuss the company’s second-quarter results and reported by Reuters.
Ford Dagenham diesel plant is also facing an uncertain future without a Brexit trade deal, the car maker warned.
Ford Bridgend petrol engine plant has been told it’s closing in little over a year with the loss of 1,700 jobs due to falling demand for its units and that’s not Brexit related.
However, now Dagenham is looking at closure because of potential trade tariffs and some 2,000 work there. The medium and long term future of diesel is also not good as governments seek to cut emissions and clean up their towns and cities.
“It’s a bit of a rocky road,” Ford President of Automotive Joseph Hinrichs told BBC radio.
“The odds of a no-deal Brexit certainly have increased in recent months … The key is going to be, whatever happens, what happens at the borders, what happens in the ports and importantly what happens to the pound sterling when it’s all said and done,” he said.
Earlier this week, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said any devaluation of sterling would not be sufficient to offset the extra costs of trading with Europe without an exit deal.