Ralf Speth says "tens of thousands" of jobs will be lost if Britain doesn't secure a smooth exit from the European Union
Jimi Beckwith
11 September 2018

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) boss Ralf Speth has said that the backlash against diesel and fears over the impact of a 'hard' Brexit have led to job losses in the car industry - at a time when he believes jobs should have been added.

Speth, who has been CEO of JLR since 2010, used his speech at the first Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Summit in Birmingham to highlight his concerns over the potential impact Brexit could have on the firm. 

He said: “Jobs have been shed when they should have been created. A thousand lost as a result of diesel policy. Those numbers will be counted in the tens of thousands if we do not get the right Brexit deal.”

Speth has warned of the dangers of Brexit to JLR in the past, and highlighted the lack of clarity from the Government around the issue in his speech, adding: “Brexit is due to happen on the 29th of March next year. Currently, I do not even know if any of our manufacturing facilities in the UK will be able to function on the 30th.

“We will not be able to build cars, if the motorway to and from Dover becomes a car park, where the vehicle carrying parts - vital to our processes - is stationary. Any friction at our borders puts our production in jeopardy - at a cost of £60 million a day. Unfettered access to the Single Market is as important a part to our business, as wheels are to our cars.”

Speth said that clarity from the Government is vital to the company’s decision making: “Six months from Brexit and uncertainty means that many companies are being forced to make decisions about their businesses that will not be reversed, whatever the outcome, just to survive. Talk diesel, petrol, hybrid or electric. Free, frictionless trade and clarity are the paramount fuels for our business.”

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Speth also said that the backlash against diesel has already cost 1000 JLR workers their jobs, with more at risk if it continues. He was particularly concerned by Government action against the sales of new diesel cars, rather than older cars.

“A disincentive has been placed on the newer, cleaner models, through tougher regulations and higher taxation," he said. "It has cost jobs; at Jaguar Land Rover 1000 people have been let go - with all the knock-on effects to their families and our local economy. More may be lost in the future.

“Let us focus on that we wish to build, rather than that we wish to ban.”

The job losses, which came from the brands’ Solihull facility, were confirmed in April, following a slump in UK sales for diesel cars. Between January and April 2018, just 33.5% of registrations were diesels in the UK, compared with 44% in the same period last year. 

It's not the first time Speth has warned of diesel and Brexit risks; Speth has been outspoken on the problems to JLR that a hard Brexit would cause, saying "diesel has to – needs to – have a future.” 

Despite JLR's move towards electric mobility, with numerous electric models arriving in the next few years following the introduction of the Jaguar I-Pace, Speth reiterated diesel's importance. He said: "new diesel will still be the right choice for many people. What will happen to our rural communities, the idyll of English life, if it is banned without alternative? Without the right infrastructure being put in place? All Hybrid powertrains require internal combustion – diesel and/or petrol - alongside electric technology."

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Comments
48

11 September 2018
If a hard brexit is really this bad then the government will be forced to bail out the automotive sector or face the wrath of British voters as they realise they were lied to. Problem is it won't just be the auto sector that will demand a taxpayer bailout!

11 September 2018

Anyone who advocates a hard Brexit simply have no idea as to the profound effect a complete divorce from the single market will have on British industries and retail which rely heavily upon just-im-time supply chains to retain productivity. The motor industry could conceivably be decimated, and that will fore the industry - which is controlled primarily by foreign corporations - to move elsewhere in the EU to supply the European market.

11 September 2018
aatbloke wrote:

Anyone who advocates a hard Brexit simply have no idea as to the profound effect a complete divorce from the single market will have on British industries and retail which rely heavily upon just-im-time supply chains to retain productivity. The motor industry could conceivably be decimated, and that will fore the industry - which is controlled primarily by foreign corporations - to move elsewhere in the EU to supply the European market.

the negotiation deadline can and probably will be extended if no agreement reached. Remember they have allot of people relying on parts and cars to be bought to keep them in work. The moment they are not being bought is the moment these large parts suppliers/ car makers are paying people to stand around  

As for moving brands such as Bentley is possible but whose wants a non British Bentley? It’s stale enough already since the Germans took over. Rolls cars is owned by BMW but they don’t own the badge or logo. Aston and McLaren is privately owned by the Mid East as JLR owned by the Indians.

12 September 2018
GODFATHER wrote:

aatbloke wrote:

Anyone who advocates a hard Brexit simply have no idea as to the profound effect a complete divorce from the single market will have on British industries and retail which rely heavily upon just-im-time supply chains to retain productivity. The motor industry could conceivably be decimated, and that will fore the industry - which is controlled primarily by foreign corporations - to move elsewhere in the EU to supply the European market.

the negotiation deadline can and probably will be extended if no agreement reached. Remember they have allot of people relying on parts and cars to be bought to keep them in work. The moment they are not being bought is the moment these large parts suppliers/ car makers are paying people to stand around  

As for moving brands such as Bentley is possible but whose wants a non British Bentley? It’s stale enough already since the Germans took over. Rolls cars is owned by BMW but they don’t own the badge or logo. Aston and McLaren is privately owned by the Mid East as JLR owned by the Indians.

Any extention of the negotiation deadline has to be agreed by all 27 EU members. Otherwise, you leave in March 2019 irrespective of any brokered agreement in place.

Bentley is owned by Volkswagen, so in effect its British only by virtue of its Articles of Association. Its operational activities are governed by German parents, and the cars themselves use a considerable amount of German parts content. Where it is assembled is really of no consequence.

 

 

11 September 2018
TStag wrote:

If a hard brexit is really this bad then the government will be forced to bail out the automotive sector or face the wrath of British voters as they realise they were lied to. Problem is it won't just be the auto sector that will demand a taxpayer bailout!

They just need to get their supply from the more reliable japanese. Why would JLR choose to be hindered by the unreliable german parts? Anyone with any common sense just needs to see where the German cars brands are placed compared to the Japanese in the which? and JD power reliability surveys.

Beside, this is a two way deal. If JLR loses then the Germans loses 50% of the uk market. (10% each between merc, bmw,Audi, VW and the FordEurope (Germany based). Ironically that 50% does not include the French, Italians, Czech, Spanish, Romanians and Opel.

12 September 2018
GODFATHER wrote:

TStag wrote:

If a hard brexit is really this bad then the government will be forced to bail out the automotive sector or face the wrath of British voters as they realise they were lied to. Problem is it won't just be the auto sector that will demand a taxpayer bailout!

They just need to get their supply from the more reliable japanese. Why would JLR choose to be hindered by the unreliable german parts? Anyone with any common sense just needs to see where the German cars brands are placed compared to the Japanese in the which? and JD power reliability surveys.

Beside, this is a two way deal. If JLR loses then the Germans loses 50% of the uk market. (10% each between merc, bmw,Audi, VW and the FordEurope (Germany based). Ironically that 50% does not include the French, Italians, Czech, Spanish, Romanians and Opel.

 

Lol. So hopelessly clueless.

12 September 2018

You realise that EU will get more favourable trade terms from Japan than the UK on its own?

You realise that the EU successfully trades with the rest of the world already, and has the bargaining power that UK can only dream about?

11 September 2018

No version of Brexit makes Britain better off.   It's already cost Britian jobs, and with borders going up and trade barriers too this is only going to be the tip of the iceberg.   Worst affected will be our SMEs.   Ones who rely upon trade with the EU.

 

And for what?

 

To satisfy the racists in our country.   The ones who have no idea how interconnected modern business is.   Even something as simple as the electric motor to lift the window probably comes in from a factory in France, whilst we might export the motor for the wipers.   Trade is two-way and Europe has a choice where to buy from.

 

The only Brexit that makes sense is the one that doesn't happen.   Britain should be leading in Europe, not retreating.

 

289

12 September 2018

....but thats the problem Symanski....we didnt lead in Europe. We tried to reform the EU (which is frankly out of control), and return more to a trading agreement which was the original purpose by the way, and the 'leader'  (note the use of the singular), thought it amusing to send us packing!

11 September 2018

Well Aston Martin aren't worried about a 'No Deal' Brexit if Andy Palmer's comments on Radio 4 are to be believed.

Maybe Speth is just aware that JLR's decision to build a factory in Slovakia looks rather stupid and pointless if we leave without a deal.

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