Ford Says “Hard” Brexit Could Cost It $1 Billion

January 25, 2019 at 12:00 AM

Ford Motor Co. says it will lose as much as $1 billion if the U.K. leaves the European Union in late March without a new trade deal, Reuters reports.

“We’re certainly hoping it does not happen, but we can’t wait,” Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks tells reporters in Detroit. He says the company has already incurred costs as it prepares its British operations for the chaos of a so-called “hard” Brexit.

Ford no long assembles cars in the U.K. But it owns two engine plants there that supply the company’s car plant in Cologne, Germany.

Severing ties with the EU completely would replace the tariff-free benefit of EU membership with World Trade Organization tariffs as great as 10% and disrupt supply chains between the two regions. All carmakers in Britain have warned that the resulting rise in costs would discourage them from investing further in the U.K. and could eventually force them to relocate production elsewhere.