The BMW Group has confirmed that it will halt production at its Mini and Rolls-Royce factories in the UK during the Brexit period around March 29 next year.
Speaking at the Paris Auto Show with The Washington Post, BMW chief salesman Pieter Nota revealed that production at the Mini plant will be stopped for four weeks from late March while there will also be a two-week pause at the Rolls-Royce factory.
The halt at the Mini factory has been moved forward to March from its usual slot towards the end of the year.
According to Nota, the production halts have been ordered to avoid chaos surrounding Brexit and “to really make sure that during that period we don’t have the need for, say, massive flows of goods.”
The UK government has still yet to reach a deal with the EU.
Despite the lengthy stoppages at the factories, BMW doesn’t expect them to impact production targets.
“While we believe that a hard and possibly disruptive Brexit is unlikely, as a responsible company we need to plan for the most challenging potential outcome,” Rolls-Royce said in a statement.
“Our decisions have to be made in the best interest of our business, our workforce and our customers at the appropriate time, based on the best information available.
“The shutdown is scheduled to allow essential maintenance and rebalancing to take place during the first full production year for Cullinan. The timing has also been planned to coincide with the UK’s departure from the EU on 29 March 2019, as a mitigation measure for any resulting supply chain interruptions.”
Both Rolls-Royce and Mini are remaining committed to UK production for the moment. However, the BMW Group’s customs manager Stephan Freismuth said that if the company’s supply chain has to stop at the border, BMW will no longer be able to produce its vehicles in Britain.