Jaguar Land Rover Joins Toyota and BMW, Halting Factory Production Due to Brexit Possibility

The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, recently vowed that Britain would leave the European Union (EU) with or without an exit deal on October 31st. However, it continues remaining unclear whether Brexit will actually happen, get delayed, be put back into a referendum, or even get cancelled.

With a no-deal Brexit looming over Britain, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) joined BMW and Toyota, halting production at its British factories to mitigate any possible disruption. JLR, being Britain’s biggest carmaker and the industry’s biggest exporter of goods, vocalised its concerns regarding a disorderly departure from the EU. Among these, the main concerns regarded the disruption of the flow of components and vehicles, damaging factory viability, and ruining production processes.

Ralf Speth, the Chief Executive at JLR, has plans to stop production at its four British factories during the first week of November. At an event in Gaydon, he told reporters, “We cannot think about it, we just have to do it. I need 20 million parts a day and that means I have to make commitments to my suppliers. I have to have each and every part available and I have to have it just in time.”

This plan affects the firm’s three car factories, which collectively produced just under a third of the 1.5 million cars from Britain last year. In addition to JLR, Toyota also announced halting production at its British factory on November 1stalong with BMW, which decided to halt production at its Oxford plant on October 31st and November 1st.

Speth added that the “cyclical challenge” would cause a shift in JLR’s patterns at its Halewood factory near Liverpool, leading to a decrease in output. This challenge has also prompted forecast cuts and profit warnings in multiple firms.

Speth’s current term at JLR is set to end next year. He has been working at the company for nearly a decade. Under his leadership, there was a rapid expansion of the company overseas. It was also under his leadership that the company incurred losses due to the slowdown in China and the hit to diesel sales in Europe.

However, he is still enjoying his time as a carmaker, saying, “I started here in 2010 and all my predecessors only survived for two years or so… Working for this iconic and authentic brand is a lot of fun. So, as long as it’s fun, it’s just wonderful to be here.”