Ford Threatens UK Investment Rethink

Tue 2nd Apr 2019

Ford’s Chairman of operations in Europe has said the company’s long-term future in Britain could be under threat if the Government pushes ahead with a no-deal Brexit solution.

Steven Armstrong was speak at the company’s launch of a range of electric and hybrid vehicles in Holland and reiterated previous warnings that additional tariffs and border checks could disrupt the industry.

The Government was been working it’s way towards Brexit over the past few weeks, with a series of votes in the House of Commons making it increasingly likely that a no-deal Brexit will be the only available option.

"We've been very consistent since the referendum that a hard Brexit, a no-deal Brexit, would be a disaster for the automotive industry in the U.K. and within that of course I count Ford Motor Company," Armstrong told The Associated Press. "So anything that puts tariffs or friction at the borders in place would be a significant inhibitor to our business. We've been very clear in saying that could cost us up to a billion dollars a year.”

Like most motor giants, Ford has spent both time and money preparing for the outcome of a no-deal exit from the European Union, Armstrong said that figure is in the tens of millions, but indicated that the figure is small in comparison as to what it might actually cost the company to leave.

He said: "The best case for me would be that that money is actually wasted because we actually reach a deal. So I would encourage all parties concerned to figure out how to get us to a deal that guarantees frictionless trade because otherwise we will have to consider seriously the long-term future of our investments in the country."