MINI will close its Oxford factory for two days should a no-deal Brexit happen next month, one of its bosses has said.
It remains possible that the UK could leave the European Union without an agreement on October 31 – despite a new law passing through Parliament blocking such a scenario – which would result in the BMW-owned car manufacturer halting production at Cowley temporarily and the workers not being paid for the duration. The firm cited ‘logistical issues’ as its reason for the possible closure.
Speaking to The Times at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Nicolas Peter, BMW chief financial officer, said: ‘Let us assume no-deal Brexit; it has been decided we shut down Oxford [on] October 31 and November 1 to avoid logistics issues.
‘We have already introduced a holiday period for the team in April, so we are not capable [of taking] a second holiday period in 2019. This will have a financial impact for our colleagues working in Oxford.’
He added: ‘The logistics issue should not last too long – two weeks, three weeks at most.’
The firm is due to begin producing its first mass-market electric car – the Mini Electric – in November, but that could be affected by the plant temporarily closing its doors.
BMW also warned that a no-deal exit could see the future of the Cowley site being closely examined, as production – and shifts – would be likely to decrease.
The manufacturer shut up shop there in April to prepare for the original March 29 date of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, despite the exit date being delayed to Halloween.