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Ford told UK PM May it is preparing alternative production sites: The Times


(Reuters) - has told British that it is stepping up preparations to move production out of Britain, reported on Tuesday.

The automaker told the during a private call with business leaders that it is preparing alternative sites abroad, the report said.

In a statement to Reuters, Ford said a no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for its in Britain.

"We have long urged the and Parliament to work together to avoid the country leaving the EU on a no-deal, hard Brexit basis," the No.2 automaker said.

"We will take whatever action is necessary to preserve the competitiveness of our European business."

Ford, which operates two engine plants in Britain, last month said that it faces a bill of up to $1 billion if Britain leaves the without a deal.

and other manufacturers have warned of the cost of a no-deal Brexit, including higher tariffs, disruption to supply chains and threats to jobs. Britain is scheduled to leave the EU on March 29.

Other companies have delivered the same warning as Ford, reported, citing another participant on the private call with May.

"This isn't about contingencies any more - we are taking steps because of the uncertainty. It's real," the report quoted the participant as saying.

Last week said it scrapped plans to build its new X-in Britain and will produce it solely in Japan, saying that uncertainty related to Brexit was making it hard for it to plan for the future.

Ford is a top-selling automotive brand in Britain, which is its third-largest market and the destination for roughly one in three cars made at its plant in Cologne, It employs about 13,000 people in Britain.

(Reporting by in Bengaluru and Andrew MacAskill in London; Editing by and Arun Koyyur)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 13 2019. 20:55 IST