Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has pledged to continue manufacturing vehicles in the UK despite its concerns over the impact of a no-deal Brexit, its chief executive Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes has announced.
Rolls-Royce builds all its cars at its Goodwood plant in West Sussex, and moving any production overseas is a “complete no-go for me”, he said. “Rolls-Royce belongs to Britain, we are committed to Britain.”
Mueller-Oetvoes added: “Rolls-Royce is part of what I would call the British industrial crown jewels. It is an in-built brand promise even for our customers worldwide to be proudly built in Goodwood.”
His comments were made as the company released new figures showing record sales last year, with a 22% rise seeing the company sell more than 4,000 cars.
The increase was partially due to a surge in demand from China, which accounted for one in five purchases.
The US remains the brand’s single biggest market, accounting for around 30% of sales, and Mueller-Oetvoes commented that tax cuts made by US president Donald Trump had been “fuel for our business last year in the United States”.
The automotive firm, a subsidiary of BMW, is making contingency plans to cope with what he described as the “chaotic” scenario if Britain leaves the EU without a deal.
Measures include stockpiling, training its suppliers for customs changes, and increasing its warehouse capacity.
It will also move its annual shutdown, which usually takes place in summer, to the first two weeks of April.
Mueller-Oetvoes commented: “We are highly dependent on a proper, working frictionless chain of goods and this whole company hinges on just-in-time deliveries.”
He added: “We urge the government to avoid any hard Brexit” and warned that in that scenario “then probably the mood here in the UK tanks and probably also our sales might be affected”.
His comments come as Jaguar Land Rover confirmed there would be 4,500 job losses as part of a turnaround plan to save £2.5bn, announced in October last year.
☛ Want to stay up to date with the news? Sign up to our daily bulletin.