Toyota to pause car production on Brexit day over disruption fears

Toyota plans to pause production at its UK factory the day after Brexit in case of any disruption to deliveries of parts.

The Japanese car maker says work at its Burnaston plant in Derbyshire will stop on Friday, 1 November and restart the following week.

Toyota cars are transported from their manufacturing facility in Burnaston
Image: The Japanese carmaker built more than 8% of the UK’s 1.52 million cars last year

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised that Britain will leave the European Union on 31 October with or without an agreement with Brussels.

The car manufacturing sector, Britain’s biggest exporter of goods, has been one of the most vocal critics of a no-deal Brexit, warning that production would be hit with tariffs, border delays and red tape.

Toyota built more than 8% of the UK’s 1.52 million cars last year at its Burnaston site and began production of its new Corolla model there earlier this year.

A spokesman for the firm said: “We will have a production pause on the first day of Brexit, which is Friday 1st, and… then we will restart production on the Monday and the Tuesday.

“We don’t know what the actual situation will be like. We’ve already pulled forward a couple of days of extra inventory which we will then use on the Monday and Tuesday and we will have to see what the situation is after that.”

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British car factories are integrated into supply chains which can stretch around the world and operate just-in-time
manufacturing processes.

This means some parts arrive minutes before being fitted onto vehicles rolling off production lines.

Toyota said no volume would be lost from the pause in production.

However, shutdowns earlier this year aimed at avoiding disruption during the period when the UK was previously supposed to leave the EU saw car production plummet.

A string of firms decided to halt their assembly lines to coincide with Britain’s planned departure at the end of March, including Jaguar Land Rover and BMW at its Mini plant in Oxford.

It meant just 70,971 vehicles were made in the UK in April, down 44.5% on a year earlier, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

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