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.”