Jaguar Land Rover boss: No-deal Brexit stockpiling 'not possible'

10 September 2019, 09:09 | Updated: 10 September 2019, 13:10

The chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover has told Sky News it would be "not possible at all" for the company to stockpile parts in case of supply disruption from a no-deal Brexit.

Dr Ralf Speth was speaking to Ian King Live at the Frankfurt Motor Show, where the company was proudly showing off its new Land Rover Defender for the first time ahead of its release next year.

It has been a major undertaking for the company at a time when it has been juggling pressure to leave the internal combustion engine behind in favour of electric vehicles, arrest falling sales and navigate the challenges posed by Brexit.

Dr Speth, who has previously warned of a £60m daily cost in the event of delays to parts from a no-deal scenario, said on Tuesday there was no way around such disruption for JLR.

"Stockpiling is only possible up to a certain degree," he said.

"You have to know that we need 20 to 25 million parts per day delivered on time at the assembly lines in order to produce a vehicle.

"And if you don't have the one part, where ever from, we don't produce the vehicles.

"Stockpiling 20 million parts a day for more days is not possible at all. Nobody has got the warehouses, not the IT systems, not the logistical devices to make these kinds of stockpiling happen."

It was announced last year that the new Defender, available with either diesel or petrol engines, was being built in Slovakia - away from the UK for the first time.

However, the company's home market has not been snubbed as, in July, the company committed to build electric cars in the UK, securing thousands of jobs following a cull as JLR battled record losses.

The new Defender, the company said, was "equipped for 21st century adventures" and packed with technology usually associated with its more luxurious models.

Its features mark a departure from the technology-light approach of the previous generation.

The off-roader - a favourite of the Queen - has been a staple of farmers, adventurers and armies for 70 years.

The last UK model rolled off the production line in January 2016 as it was withdrawn as part of efforts to satisfy safety and emissions standards.