Jaguar Land Rover chief executive Ralph Speth has warned the Government that a ‘no deal’ Brexit would cost the manufacturer £1.2bn a year – putting thousands of UK jobs at risk.
Speth described a cliff-edge break with the EU as “horrifying”, warning that if wrong decisions were taken now it could result in the “worst of times” for the UK, The Guardian newspaper reported.
Speaking at yesterday’s Zero Emission Vehicle Summit in Birmingham, he stated that the Tata-owned business remained “firmly committed” to the UK but warned that a hard Brexit would wipe-out its profits.
Speth told the conference that friction at the border could jeopardise production to the value of £60m a day.
He also warned that traffic jams on the approach to Dover meant that “bluntly, we will not be able to build cars”.
Pressure is clearly mounting on JLR, which recently launched its first EV – the Austria-built Jaguar I-Pace.
The Jaguar and Land Rover brand’s growth in recent years has faltered amid the anti-diesel rhetoric by the UK Government and EU leaders keen to cut emissions.
In the first six months of this year the UK public bought nearly 200,000 fewer new diesel cars than in the same period last year, leaving the fuel type with a market share of just 33%.
Jaguar Land Rover are feeling the squeeze more than most and has been forced to cut 1,000 factory jobs as a result of the shift.
Its sales in H1 2018 were down 9%, for which it largely blames the diesel decline as 85% of its UK sales are diesel.