August 20, 2019, 1:35


BMW May Axe Mini Crowley Plant over Looming No-Deal Brexit, Risking 4,500 Jobs

BMW May Axe Mini Crowley Plant over Looming No-Deal Brexit, Risking 4,500 Jobs

The news comes after Toyota, Honda, and the PSA Group issued similar warnings over a no-deal Brexit, most recently with Honda planning to shut down its Swindon-based plant by 2021.

The German automaker may be forced to stop manufacturing Minis at its Cowley plant if the UK government fails to secure a deal, putting over 4,500 jobs at risk, it said on Tuesday. 

“This would be really a huge burden for the Mini brand,” BMW board member Peter Schwarzenbauer told Sky News on Tuesday.  

When asked if his comments meant that BMW would withdraw from the Cowley plant, he added: “We at least have to consider it because we cannot absorb 10% costs on top of it.” 

The Cowley plant has been in service since 1913 and currently employs 4,500 people and produced 234,501 cars. But the plant relies on Europe for motor parts, with over 60 percent originating from the EU.

Mr. Schwarzenbauer said that BMW could move engine production from Hams Hall in Warwickshire to the Steyr plant in Austria, adding that the company “would need to make some adjustments toward Steyr” and was “preparing to be able to do it”. 

 Automakers have voiced concerns over a no-deal Brexit due to interdependence on European manufacturing and trade access to the single market. Executives from Rolls Royce, Jaguar Land Rover, in addition to Honda, Toyota, and Nissan have vowed to cease manufacturing in plants across the UK in recent months.

German concerns over exports were compounded after US president Donald Trump announced in late February that he would slap major tariffs on auto imports if the EU did not renegotiate a wider trade deal, costing German automakers “billions of euros” a year.  

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