Aston Martin is preparing for the UK’s exit from the European Union, which could lead to delays at the country’s ports, affecting the movement of parts and vehicles to and from Europe’s mainland and disrupt production.
“The European-sourced parts, which include the engine and the gearbox as a complete assembly, come back in from Europe so an alternative port is one way, predominately for lorries, and then reserving space on aircrafts for one-off shipping,” Aston Martin’s CEO Andy Palmer said.
“You can get a few days of engines and gearboxes relatively easily into the cargo decks of a plane so whilst it’s relatively expensive that is probably our primary backup,” he said, adding that the company only did so in an emergency at present.
Aston Martin is considering airports near its Gaydon factory, such as Coventry and Birmingham, as well as the port of Sunderland as possible locations for bringing in car components.
Palmer also added that their plan has to be approved by Aston Martin’s board by the end of the year, revealing that executives must take decisions without knowing what Brexit will bring. “There is undoubtedly a cost associated with it, but it’s cheaper than not building cars,” he said.
Earlier in the year, Aston Martin switched its car approvals from UK’s vehicle agency to Spain’s due to the uncertainty of the British licenses, with Palmer saying that the upcoming DBX crossover is also going to be approved there.
“You’re forced to make a change,” Palmer said. “Once you set in place a process, you tend to stick with that process because it works.”