A bad Brexit deal could result in tens of thousands of job losses, warned the boss of the largest car maker in the United Kingdom.
Earlier today, Ralf Speth, the chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, also said that friction at the border could affect the production costs by as much as £60 million every day.
In one of the sternest warnings from a heavyweight in the car industry, Speth disclosed that he had no idea whether his manufacturing plants would still operate after the United Kingdom officially leaves the European Union next year.
In a speech in Birmingham, Speth stated: “A thousand (jobs were) lost as a result of diesel policy and those numbers will be counted in the tens of thousands if we do not get the right Brexit deal,” He spoke shortly before Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, was set to step on stage.
Speth continued: “Bluntly, we will not be able to build cars if the motorway to and from Dover becomes a car park, where the vehicle carrying party – vital to your processes – is stationary.”
The CEO said that the unfettered access to the single market was considered “as important a part to our business as wheels are to our cars.”
Jaguar Land Rover built nearly a third of the 1.67 million cars of the United Kingdom in 2017. Last July, it axed approximately 1,000 jobs as an outcome of the declining diesel sales.
The comments of Speth are likely to put more pressure on Theresa May, who has had a difficult time to contain the internal disputes of her own party in the previous week, as rows heighten regarding the Chequers Plan of Downing Street.
The news also comes months after Jaguar Land Rover announced its plans to relocate its full production of its Discovery model to a new plant that is located in Slovakia, instead of making the vehicle in both Slovakia and the United Kingdom as what was originally planned.
The fears of Speth that a harder Brexit will likely disrupt the supply chain follows on from similar sentiments among the other major car manufacturers, with both Aston Martin and BMW having previously expressed the concerns regarding the future of its production line once the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.