A no-deal Brexit would make it difficult for Jaguar Land Rover's manufacturing to continue in Britain, but jobs will remain, according to the company's Australian boss.
Uncertainty is growing for the British public as the October 31 deadline for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union draws nearer with a no-deal looking likely. But it's also uncertain times for British-based Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).
Speaking to CarsGuide at the launch of the new Jaguar XE and F-Pace SVR, JLR Australia managing director Mark Cameron said that a hard Brexit will affect parts supply to plants in the UK.
"If the borders go up and we can't get parts from European suppliers when we have just-in-time manufacturing, that's a massive disruption," he said.
Just-in-time manufacturing refers to an inventory system by which orders from suppliers align directly with production schedules.
The Tata-owned British brands build Jaguar XJ, XF, XE and F-Type models at its Castle Bromwich factory, while the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Evoque are made at its Halewood operations, and the Solihull plant produces various Range Rovers.
Production of Discovery moved to Slovakia and the upcoming new-generation Defender will also be built there. The manufacture of more models, it seems, will move elsewhere when Britain leaves the EU at the end of October, but Cameron insists that jobs will remain in Britain.
"Wherever we build cars and as we grow, hedging your bets and building cars in markets where you get behind duty boundaries just makes sense," he says.
"What is key for us is that all of our design and engineering, the literally tens of thousands of jobs that come up with the ideas for the product design and engineer them is all in Britain. Whatever we decide to do from a manufacturing footprint to give us that natural edge, we'll be designing and engineering cars in Britain.
"We used to be a British brand exporting around the world. We're now a global brand that has great British heritage and base, but commercially you have to build cars where is makes commercial sense to do that."
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