PSA Group boss Carlos Tavares has reiterated his belief that Vauxhall could be “the only survivors” of the British car industry following Brexit.
The threat of a no-deal Brexit has been a major concern for car firms, due to the potential impact it could have on supply chains. Both Toyota and BMW suggested during the Geneva motor show that they could shift production out of the UK.
Tavares has previously warned that Brexit could potentially lead to the closure of Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant. But speaking at Geneva, he emphasised that Vauxhall’s British heritage could be an advantage, and might leave its Ellesmere Port and Luton plant as the only remaining volume vehicle factories in the UK.
“We are ready for both scenarios,” said Tavares, adding: “no deal is not acceptable.”
He continued: “We love to make cars in the UK. But can we do it without penalising other [PSA Group] employees? If the politicians do not come up with a deal, we are introuble. But Vauxhall is doing the right things. We will decide after Brexit.”
Tavares first suggested that Brexit could be an 'opportunity' for Vauxhall during a press conference on PSA’s 2018 results, when it was announced Vauxhall-Opel had posted a profit for the first time in 20 years
He admitted that Brexit presented a “headache” in terms of supply chain and that the firm was already positioning inventory to try and cope with such a scenario – but added his belief that Vauxhall could be positioned to benefit.
“One direction is to say it is going to be a headache in terms of supply chain,” said Tavares. “We have been taking some decisions on that matter and moving inventories to where they should be if that time-lag is going to appear.