LONDON (Reuters) – Japan’s Toyota <7203.T> will not build cars at its British factory the day after Britain leaves the European Union as part of plans to handle any disruption from a potentially disorderly Brexit.
The autos sector, Britain’s biggest exporter of goods, has been one of the most vociferous opponents of a no-deal Brexit, warning that production would be hit with tariffs, border delays and new bureaucracy, ruining the viability of plants.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised that Britain will leave the European Union on Oct. 31 with or without a deal.
Toyota built just over 8% of Britain’s 1.52 million cars last year at its Burnaston factory in Derbyshire and began production of its new Corolla model there earlier this year.
“We will have a production pause on the first day of Brexit, which is Friday 1st, and… then we will restart production on the Monday and the Tuesday,” said a spokesman.
“We don’t know what the actual situation will be like. We’ve already pulled forward a couple of days of extra inventory which we will then use on the Monday and Tuesday and we will have to see what the situation is after that,” he said.
British car factories are integrated into supply chains which can stretch around the world and operate just-in-time manufacturing processes which mean some parts arrive minutes before being fitted onto vehicles rolling off production lines.
Toyota said no volume would be lost from the pause in output.
(Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Alistair Smout)