Brexit could put tens of thousands of Jaguar Land Rover jobs at risk and cost the company £1.2 billion, chief executive Ralf Speth has warned.
Speaking to Sky News he highlighted that the company depends on “free, frictionless, seamless logistics”, which could come under threat if the right deal is not struck.
Speth told the prime minister that the company’s factories faced grinding to a halt if she failed to reach an agreement with Brussels, describing the prospect of a cliff-edge break with the EU as “horrifying”.
He stressed the company was “firmly committed” to the UK but warned that a hard Brexit would cost it £1.2 billion a year, wiping out profits.
“What decisions will we be forced to make if Brexit means not merely that costs go up, but that we cannot physically build cars on time and on budget in the UK?”
It follows similar warnings from other industry chiefs, including Airbus and BMW, about the potentially damaging consequences of Britain’s decision to leave the EU.
Speth said that friction at the border could jeopardise production to the value of £60 million a day and that traffic jams on the approach to Dover would mean that “bluntly, we will not be able to build cars”.
He pointed out it was now cheaper for the company to make cars in Slovakia than Britain.
“Six months from Brexit and uncertainty means that many companies are being forced to make decisions about their businesses that will not be reversed, whatever the outcome, just to survive,” he added.