A hard Brexit would cost Ford as much as US$800m (GBP614m) this year alone as a result of World Trade Organisation (WTO) tariffs and the weakening pound – one of the biggest individual company hits forecast so far from the UK crashing out of the EU, according to a Sky News report.
Sky News said Ford executives, who had already outlined plans for a wide-ranging restructuring of operations in Europe, had privately calculated a no-deal departure would have a severe impact on the company's profits in the first nine months of Britain's post-Brexit existence.
Sources described as "close to the company" told Sky News it had been prepared to disclose the figure during an earnings call with Wall Street analysts on Wednesday but had not done so because they were not asked to address Brexit's potential impact on the business.
The report said news of the likely cost underlined the ballooning price of a hard Brexit for the manufacturing sector which faces being confronted by a toxic cocktail of WTO tariffs, a depreciating currency and the need to stockpile components for assembly activities that take place in the UK.
Ford employs about 13,000 people in the UK, roughly a quarter of its 54,000-strong workforce across Europe.
Announcing 2018 results last night, Ford said it booked posted a USD398m EBIT loss in Europe, due to higher costs, adverse exchange rates and lower volume.