BMW has no plans to move production from Brexit Britain

Marco Green
June 27, 2018

BMW could be forced to close its Cowley MINI factory if vehicle parts are delayed by lengthy customs checks post-Brexit, a senior director has warned.

The warning is the latest evidence of worldwide companies with major operations in Britain going public with their Brexit concerns after Airbus said it would leave the United Kingdom if no transition deal is struck with Brussels.

The firm's customs manager Stephan Freismuth has issued the clearest warning yet that Brexit could put an end to its United Kingdom production.

Robertson has said that the comments were taken out of context and referred to something else.

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said "threats" from businesses were "completely inappropriate".

Robertson said that Freismuth was instead talking about supply disruption causing delays at BMW's United Kingdom factories. Its factories in Swindon, Hams Hall and Oxford now employ around 6,300 workers to make BMW engines and Mini vehicles.

BMW has invested some £2bn in its United Kingdom operations in the last two decades and has four British plants that employ a total of 7,000 people.

Executives across the industry are concerned that any requirement for customs checks once Britain leaves the single market and customs union could introduce unpredictable delays and slash profitability.

Responding to the comments by Airbus, International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said the aerospace giant should be "making the case" against a "no deal" Brexit in Europe - not just to the UK.

Mr Freismuth explained that BMW wanted to keep its British plants open and was working on contingency plans, but that any disruption to imports of components would increase costs and damage its "just in time" manufacturing model.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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