BMW may shift Mini and engine work from UK in no-deal Brexit


Another carmaker slams the brakes on prospects for its UK workers if Britain leaves the EU without a deal.

BMW has stepped up its warnings over a no-deal Brexit, telling Sky News that production of the Mini in Oxford may be at risk.

Peter Schwarzenbauer, the German car giant’s board member responsible for Mini and Rolls Royce cars, said the firm would “need to consider” moving production from the UK as the company could not absorb the extra costs they would inevitably face.

He also told the Reuters news agency at the Geneva car show that some engine manufacturing, at Hams Hall in Birmingham, could be lost to Austria.

In an interview with Sky’s business correspondent Adam Parsons, Mr Schwarzenbauer expressed solidarity with other global carmakers over their response to the UK’s looming departure from the EU.

While Brexit has not been explicitly blamed by Nissan for its U-turn on building new X-trial models in Sunderland, or Honda for its decision to close its Swindon plant, the carmakers agree that Brexit will add to their costs and make them less competitive.

That is mainly because of the risk of disruption to supplies from bolstered border checks and the threat of extra tariffs.

Other pressures in the sector include the global economic slowdown and shift towards electric models from diesel and petrol.