UK automotive industry restructuring continues – leading to 6,000 job losses since Brexit

Major automotive manufacturers are continuing their restructuring plans which have so far resulted in 5,905 job losses since the Brexit vote in 2016*.

The global automotive manufacturers are continuing to restructure operations in response to economic conditions, changing global demand and supply chain requirements. The continuing significant uncertainty around Britain’s departure from the EU has also been a contributing factor to this restructuring activity in the UK and associated job losses.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has warned that more jobs are at risk if the Government fails to secure a deal and leaves the EU on World Trade Organisation terms. 

Since the Brexit vote the automotive sector in the UK has been subject to weakening UK demand, declining consumer confidence and manufacturers starting to restructure their UK based operations. 

The UK’s biggest manufacturer, Jaguar Land Rover, for instance, had planned factory shutdowns earlier in the year and has recently indicated that it will be taking steps to restructure its UK operations. Jaguar Land Rover is rumoured to be planning 5,000 job cuts as part of a three-year cost-cutting program. Plans were also announced in June to move the production of JLR’s Discovery model to Slovenia, resulting in 1,000 job losses.

Concerns over delays in the delivery of components could lead to UK automotive firms having to stockpile parts, or stop and restart production. Many UK automotive firms currently stock just a few hours’ worth of parts, and are restructuring to prevent having to rely on regular deliveries of components from Europe.

Chris Marsden, Restructuring Partner at Moore Stephens, says: “Brexit has the potential to seriously disrupt the UK’s position as one of Europe’s key automotive manufacturing centres.

“The uncertainty around Brexit is making the decisions manufacturers face more difficult. Manufacturers are having to balance short to medium term demand issues with longer-term strategies and investment decisions.

“In some cases, there is also evidence that decisions to restructure operations have been accelerated by this uncertainty.

“Both major manufacturers and their suppliers are understandably frustrated at the continued lack of clarity regarding what exactly Brexit will mean for future trading arrangements.”

Examples of automotive industry UK job losses include:

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*includes manufacturers of motor vehicles and manufacturers of parts and accessories .
 

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