The Range Rover Sport Dynamic, a Jaguar Land Rover car.
  • Jaguar Land Rover CEO says a hard Brexit would cost it R21 billion in profit a year and force it to reconsider its presence in the UK.
  • The carmaker is calling for clarity and certainty about Britain's future trading relationship with the EU.
  • Airbus and Siemens have issued similar warnings in recent weeks.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has warned that a so-called hard Brexit would cost it £1.2 billion (R21 billion) a year and threaten its future in the United Kingdom.

JLR's CEO Ralf Speth said in a statement: "A bad Brexit deal would cost Jaguar Land Rover more than £1.2 billion in profit each year.

"As a result, we would have to drastically adjust our spending profile; we have spent around £50 billion (R905 billion) in the UK in the past five years — with plans for a further £80 billion (R1.4 trillion) more in the next five. This would be in jeopardy should we be faced with the wrong outcome."

Speth's statement confirmed earlier comments he made in an interview with the Financial Times, published late on Wednesday.

"We urgently need greater certainty to continue to invest heavily in the UK and safeguard our suppliers, customers and 40,000 British-based employees," Speth said in his statement.

As things stand, Theresa May's current Brexit policy is to leave both the single market and customs union, a plan which businesses have warned will create costly delays to supply chains through tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade.

JLR is Britain's biggest car manufacturer and exporter. One in three cars sent overseas are Jaguars or Land Rovers and 80% of the 621,000 cars it sold in 2017 were sold internationally. 20% went to Europe.

As well as sales, the uncertainty of future trading relations with Europe creates a headache for the carmaker when it comes to its supply chain. 40% of the parts that go into its cars are imported from mainland Europe.

Speth and JLR called on the UK government to urgently clarify future trading arrangements with Europe post-Brexit and to guarantee tariff-free trade.

"Jaguar Land Rover’s heart and soul is in the UK," Speth said in a statement. "However, we and our partners in the supply chain, face an unpredictable future if the Brexit negotiations do not maintain free and frictionless trade with the EU and unrestricted access to the single market."

Jaguar Land Rover joins Airbus and Siemens in putting pressure on the UK government over Brexit.

Airbus said a fortnight ago that a "no deal" Brexit would force it to reconsider its presence in the UK, with Siemens following with a similar warning shortly after.

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