A quarter of Bentley’s global profits could be wiped off by a hard Brexit, the firm’s boss has said.
CEO Adrian Hallmark said today that the firm is ‘as prepared as we can be’ and has been taking measures to shore-up the company ahead of leaving the EU without a deal in place.
‘We used to run with two days of components in stock around the factory. Today, we’ve got 14. By the middle of January, it’ll be 20,’ Hallmark said.
‘We will have almost four weeks of production components in stock so we’re ready.’
Hallmark added that while Brexit ‘would not kill us, it would dent our profitability’.
The Bentley chairman said that if the company did nothing to prepare for the event of a no-deal Brexit, the result could have a significant impact on the firm’s profits. If Bentley had to absorb the potential increases on component duty and tax when importing vehicles to countries outside of the UK, it could cost it ‘around a quarter of our global profits. If we passed it all on (to the consumer), it would cost us about 20 per cent of our global profits.’
He said: ‘We either lose volume and put the prices up or we maintain volume and lose contribution because we’ve taken more cost on.’
Hallmark also added that his ideal Christmas present would be a deal with the European Union.
Despite the warnings, Hallmark is under the impression that given the lack of discussion surrounding the relationship of the automotive sector with the EU a deal may have already been done.
‘The government understands what hard Brexit means to us. We’re very privileged to have regular communication with various government ministers,’ he said. ‘Covid has improved communication quality and frequency immeasurably, both on Brexit and the Road to Zero. I feel that they listen.
‘But the gentle coaching that we’ve had has become less gentle. I don’t think they’re scaremongering us because they don’t need to.
‘I don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors. I’m always a positive thinker, and the fact that automotive disagreements haven’t popped up as one of the top three leads me to believe that there is an accord – or the basis of an agreement – in which automotive is already aligned.
‘So sort the fish out, agree who is going to arbitrate, and let’s crack on’.