Brexit uncertainty influences Jaguar’s electric car investment decision

Jaguar XE SV Project 8

Britain’s biggest automaker Jaguar Land Rover has yet to make an imminent decision if they should build electric cars in its home market partly because of uncertainty over the final Brexit terms, its boss informed Reuters on Tuesday.

The automaker, which constructs almost a third of Britain’s approximately 1.67 millions cars, is also discussing warehousing companies and has strategies to stockpile components in the event unfettered trade with the bloc is lost.

The firm could also shift its annual summer-time shutdowns to the spring to deal with any disruption from a disorderly Brexit after Britain exists the bloc at the end of March 2019 although no decision has been made.

Automakers are triggering contingency strategies to protect the just-in-time mechanisms which see tens of thousands of vehicles, components and engines move between Britain and the continent on daily basis.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is constructing its first electric car, the I-PACE, in Austria. Asked if the firm had settled on whether to construct electric cars in Britain, Chief Executive Ralf Speth informed Reuters that: “We haven’t made the decision because we don’t know at the end of the day the final conditions and we also see uncertainty resulting out of the Brexit discussions so we don’t know where we can do the investment best.”

“At the very last moment, you can decide about the location so there is a certain flexibility but we have used a lot of this kind of time already so the discussions about this kind of technologies and future locations are imminent.”

The automaker has also mentioned the need for support from government and academia to ensure the right infrastructure is in place in Britain.

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