The United Kingdom‘s biggest carmaker, Jaguar Land Rover, will close its UK factories for a week in November to cope with Brexit, its boss said on Thursday, joining BMW and Toyota in plans to help mitigate any immediate disruption from a no-deal Brexit.
The industry, the UK’s biggest exporter of goods, has been vocal about its concerns that a disorderly departure from the European Union could disrupt the flow of parts and vehicles, ruining production processes and damaging the viability of factories.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to take the UK out of the EU with or without an exit deal on October 31. However, it remains unclear whether that will happen or if Brexit will be delayed, put back to a referendum or even cancelled.
Chief Executive Officer Ralf Speth said Jaguar Land Rover had to make plans for Brexit now, including a stop to production at its four UK sites during the first week of November.
“We cannot think about it, we just have to do it,” he told reporters at an event in Gaydon, central England, to mark the opening of a new advanced product creation centre.
“I need 20 million parts a day and that means I have to make commitments to my suppliers, I have to have every and each part available and I have to have it just in time,” he said.
The move will affect the firm’s three car factories – Halewood, Castle Bromwich and Solihull – which collectively built just under a third of the UK’s 1.5 million cars last year, and its engine facility in Wolverhampton.
Japanese carmaker Toyota said in August it will not build cars at its UK factory on November 1, while BMW will halt production at its Oxford plant on October 31 and November 1.