The impact of a bad Brexit deal could hit Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) to the tune of GBP1.2bn (US$1.5bn) according to UK managing director Rawdon Glover, speaking to just-auto in Paris.
Glover said the company is currently running multiple scenarios and is working on the UK government “very hard” to get it to understand the impact on UK PLC if a deal on trade and tariffs is not done.
The GBP1.2bn figure is backed up by analysis published exclusively by just-auto earlier this year.
“We are producing 3,000 cars a day in the UK involving millions of parts being delivered on a just-in-time basis. The imposition of tariffs would have a big impact on our business.”
Glover said: “What we need is some certainty and our position on Brexit is clear – we need frictionless and tariff-free trade. We are producing 3,000 cars a day in the UK involving millions of parts being delivered on a just-in-time basis. The imposition of tariffs would have a big impact on our business.”
While Brexit is one hurdle facing JLR, the company is also urging the UK government to take a “balanced view” on Diesel engines. Glover added: “There can’t be a binary approach to diesel – good or bad – it has to be looked at in terms of CO2 and fuel economy. Certainly with Land Rover and Range Rover models, big vehicles are much better suited to diesel. What we would like to see is a different tax approach, particularly in terms of benefit in kind.”
Glover does believe, however, that the worst might be over for diesel’s bad press. JLR’s diesel numbers are only lagging 1% down year on year (fiscal). He added: “We certainly see a good future for diesel in the near and medium term – but we do see the future as electric.
“It will take time for electrification to really take off and one barrier currently is that there are only 1,650 charging points in the UK. We are getting a lot of interest from customers about the Range Rover plug-in hybrid and we have a 6-month order bank for the Jaguar iPace.”
Moving forward, Glover said JLR is looking to maximise opportunities in digitisation. “While consumers want to do their research and configure their vehicles online, they still want a number of touch points at the retailer and we want to make that journey as seamless as possible.
“Customers do not want to configure their car online then have to go through the whole process again at the dealership. We have updated our website so that people can work out the specifications they need, colour, engine etc and get quotes for finance and part-exchange – the site will even advise the customer if there is a similar model in stock. This can then be downloaded at the retailer.
“We are also getting customers to sign up to our connectivity plans. The aim is to be able to download data from the vehicles and to send out software updates. We are currently running trials with this. Ultimately it will allow retailers to be pro-active rather than the reactive way they have run their business in the past.”