Ford warns no-deal Brexit would cost it $800m this year, report says

News comes as Jaguar Land Rover reveals plans to shut UK plants in April due to potential disruption

Caitlin Morrison
Thursday 24 January 2019 17:33
Airbus CEO urges UK decision makers to avoid no-deal Brexit

Carmaker Ford has warned that a no-deal Brexit will cost it $800m (£613m) in 2019, due to World Trade Organisation tariffs and the impact of weaker sterling.

The company’s Brexit bill was reported by Sky News, which cited internal calculations from the group.

Ford operates two engine plants in the UK, which is its third-largest market. The warning comes just weeks after the company announced plans to cut thousands of jobs in the UK as part of a major restructuring.

Ford reported that it took a $3.3bn hit from higher tariffs and commodity costs in 2018, which also included unfavourable foreign exchange rates.

The firm posted a net loss of $116m in the fourth quarter of 2018, down from profit of $2.5bn in the same period of the year before.

“It was not a year we were happy with and the fourth quarter continued that theme,” said chief financial officer Bob Shanks.

Several motor companies have already warned of the impact a no-deal Brexit would have on the industry, and on Thursday Jaguar Land Rover announced plans to halt production at all three of its UK plants in April due to potential disruption caused by the UK’s departure from the EU.

Meanwhile, Airbus chief executive Tom Enders has repeated his threat to close its plants if the UK crashes out of the EU with no deal and demanded answers from Theresa May on what the future holds.

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“It is a disgrace that, more than two years after the result of the 2016 referendum, businesses are still unable to plan properly for the future,” Mr Enders said.

“We, along with many of our peers, have repeatedly called for clarity, but we still have no idea what is really going on here.

“Please don’t listen to the Brexiteers’ madness which asserts that ‘because we have huge plants here we will not move and we will always be here’. They are wrong.”

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