BMW would close UK plants if Brexit hurts supply chain - FT

BMW would close UK plants if Brexit hurts supply chain - FT
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LONDON (Reuters) - BMW would have to close its British factories which make Mini and Rolls-Royce cars if Brexit leads to serious supply chain disruption, a company executive said in remarks published by the Financial Times on Monday.

"We always said we can do our best and prepare everything, but if at the end of the day the supply chain will have a stop at the border, then we cannot produce our products in the UK," BMW customs manager Stephan Freismuth said.

BMW's warning follows concerns expressed last week by the head of Siemens' UK operations, who told Reuters Britain should stay in the EU's customs union, contrary to the British government's policy.

Airbus also warned that British jobs would be under threat from a 'no deal' Brexit, drawing criticism from government ministers who said such comments undermined Prime Minister Theresa May's negotiating position.

BMW's Freismuth added that the company wanted to keep its British plants open and was working on contingency plans, but that any disruption to imports of components would increase costs and damage its 'just in time' manufacturing model.

"If you have a stop for one day, it costs a lot of money, but at the end if there are more stops our management have to decide how this can be sorted," he said.

About 90 percent of the parts used in BMW's British factories come from mainland Europe.

BMW's head office had no immediate comment on Freismuth's remarks.

(Reporting by David Milliken; editing by Kate Holton)

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