Germany luxury car manufacturer BMW will temporarily close its British plant in Oxford for two days around the current scheduled date for Brexit, a company executive revealed on Tuesday. “The first concrete measures we have agreed with suppliers is (that) we will not be producing on October 31st and November 1st,” BMW’s chief finance officer Nicolas Peter told reporters at the Frankfurt Motor Show. He said the decision was agreed with suppliers to “ensure the logistical security” of the Oxford site, which produces the Mini brand models.
“We have prepared our processes for the Brexit, our systems are able to cope,” assured Peter.
Despite a series of setbacks in Westminster, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted he will not ask seek a new postponement to the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, currently set for October 31.
Like other car manufacturers with plants in the UK, BMW is preparing for the prospect of a ‘no-deal Brexit’ and Britain’s withdrawal from the EU without a deal, which Peter warned could push prices up.
“A ‘no-Deal’ means that WTO (World Trade Organisation) tariffs will come into force, which means an aggravated situation compared to the existing one,” he said.
“We would therefore have to increase prices in different markets,” if sales and production decreased, he explained.
Other manufacturers have already warned of drastic consequences if Brexit goes badly.
Last month, Peugeot chief Carlos Tavares told the Financial Times that production of Vauxhall and Opel Astra cars could be shifted to southern Europe from Ellesmere Port on Merseyside if Brexit has a negative impact on business.